Vision Res.(02) 1800s
Research into Human Visual Perception during 1800s
Thomas Young (1773-1829) published a theory of colour vision in 1802.
Depth perception was a recognised, and understood, phenomenon by the 1830s, the stereoscope being invented in about 1832.
The physicist-physiologist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) investigated the external eye muscles and the mechanism by which the eye muscles focus the lens. He was also interested in colour blindness and extended Young’s theory, which is now known as the Young-Helmholtz theory of colour vision. This was first developed in 1909-1911, and was translated into English in 1924-1925. Helmholtz’s three volume publication Handbuch der Physiologischen Optik (Physiological Optics) is still considered to have been a highly influential work. This was completed in 1866, and translated into English sixty years later.
Lord Rayleigh (1842-1919) contributed to the understanding of colour blindness (c.1881).
Investigations into the significance of the shape of the object viewed by an observer were documented later, and lead to the founding of the Gestalt School of Psychology.
This section includes summaries of historial research and theories of human visual perception of simple two-dimensional objects. For more about the human visual system see The Eye, Parts of Eye, Eye & Vision Disorders, Ophthalmological Procedures.