Pick one title.
Essays should in no case should exceed 2500 words. They should be word-processed. Clear diagrams are encouraged. Note that the topic chosen must be different from the topic chosen for the seminar. Essays should include a bibligraphy that should include only the sources and papers consulted to write the essay. The word count does not include the bibliography.
If there is an area in which you are particularly interested that is not covered below, you can contact the course organiser and we will consider adding a new title (no guarantees, though!).
The date for handing in the essay can be found in the course timetable.
Please note at the top of your essay the question and the lecturer from whose list it was taken.
How does the adult organisation of the visual system reflect the developmental mechanisms that sculpted it?
Describe the contribution of cortical areas V1, V2, V4 and IT to visual object recognition.
What have brain imaging experiments told us about neural mechanisms of motion processing?
Discuss the psychophysical tests done to assess the motion vision of "motion blind" patients.
What are the factors underlying development of human visual acuity in infancy and childhood?
Teller, DY (1981). The development of visual acuity in human and monkey infants. Trends in Neurosciences 4: 21-24.
Banks MS & Salapatek P.(1978) Acuity and contrast sensitivity in 1-, 2-, and 3-month-old human infants. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 17: 361-5.
Norcia, AM & Tyler, CW (1985). Spatial frequency sweep VEP: Visual acuity during the first year of life. Vision Research. 25: 1399-1408.
Banks, MS & Bennett, PJ (1988). Optical and photoreceptor immaturities limit the spatial and chromatic vision of human neonates. J Opt Soc America A, 12(5): 2059-2079.
Atkinson, J & Braddick, O (in press). Visual development (Chapter 12). In Zelazo, P.D. (Ed.) Oxford Handbook of Developmental Psychology. OUP
What roles do eye movements play in determining reading performance?
Why is it so difficult to read without a fovea?
How are distinct ON and OFF pathways generated and maintained in the retina?
What do retinal amacrine cells do?
How are signals from rods and cones thought to be transmitted to mammalian retinal ganglion cells?
Discuss the 'magnocellular theory' of dyslexia.
Starter reference: Dyslexia: a deficit in visuo-spatial attention, not in phonological processing. Vidyasagar and Pammer, Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 14: 57-63 (2010).
The Lateral Geniculate Nucleus is more than a mere relay station. Discuss.
Starter reference: Always returning: feedback and sensory processing in visual cortex and thalamus. Sillito et al., Trends in Neurosciences. 29: 307-316 (2006).
Discuss the commoner colour vision deficiencies, their causes, and their relationships to normal colour vision.
Visual illusions can be fun, but they also provide us with insights about how our visual system function. Develop this statement giving several examples.
Contrast the processing and perception of luminance and chromatic signals in the human visual system.