Email this review


The human eye: how it looks (from almost every possible angle), how it sees. Embryological development from conception to neural tube, primitive brain and primitive eye is not teleological and each step is accompanied by at least one drawing; as the structure becomes more complex, the number of illustrations increases, to define the new part and place it in the entire structure. The iris, for example, is shown from the side, from the front, and as it would look outside the eyeball (like a washer); then it is spoked and given a purse-string muscle near the center prior to an explanation of dilation. Unlike most textbook and lecture drawings, the rods and cones have tail endings, not just their characterizing shapes. In the second part--a hasty analysis of vision--the language becomes more technical; each concept is introduced separately and sometimes inadequately despite some strategic repetition. Also, there are several noteworthy omissions: peripheral and night vision; the blind spot; that rods and cones record black-and-white and color respectively, that they move separately to the brain. Finally, the black-and-white and blue format has limitations; the illustration of pigmentation has a brown eye in blue and the spectrum is necessarily nonspectral. The illustrations are more useful than the text but this fills the gap between Perry's Our Wonderful Eyes and Elgins' Read About the Eye.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1968
Publisher: Atheneum