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The subject builds on students’ understanding of the basic principles behind the functioning of the nervous system, developed in the prerequisite neuroscience subject/s. It develops students’ understanding of the structure, function and development underlying the processing of visual information from the eyes to the further reaches of the brain. The subject provides a thorough understanding of the various levels of the visual pathway and the neural mechanisms that enable visual functions such as perceiving form, colour, depth and movement and how visually-guided action is executed. It will also explore the basis of higher brain functions, such as visual attention and reading and also how eye movements are controlled and vision is related to other senses such as balance, hearing and touch. The subject will provide a number of examples of how disorders of the neural processing lead to specific clinical syndromes.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should:
- Have a thorough understanding of the structure and function of the visual system and how neural elements within different parts of the visual system interact to provide our visual percept and behaviour.
- Understand the relationship between vision and the other senses.
- Have a basic appreciation of the pathophysiology underlying neurological disorders associated with the visual system.
- Be able to convey and explain this acquired knowledge to either a lay or science audience.
- Have the necessary background knowledge and intellectual skills to engage in either postgraduate studies, or employment, related to visual function and its neurological basis.
On completion of this subject students should have developed the following generic skills:
- The capacity for critical evaluation of complex issues
- Problem-solving and communication skills
- Improved capacity for seeking and evaluating relevant information.
Last updated: 2 December 2019