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What is sight? - sight matters

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Sight Matters

While all sight is light, it happens in the brain, not in the eye.

When light falls onto an object, that light is then reflected into our eyes. Our eyes collect this light which travels through the cornea, pupil and lens en-route to the retina. The lens sharpens the image, turns it upside down and displays it on the retina. The retina is very complex delicate tissue, made up of millions of light sensitive photoreceptors. The optical nerves transfer the inverted image from the retina to a special part of the brain which interprets the light message, tells you what the object is, and what to do about it.

How we see
Our eyes have three different types of photoreceptors which combine to deal with the light we encounter.

Cones
There are 6 to 7 million which provide the eye’s colour sensitivity. They are concentrated in the central spot known as the macula. The cones see either red, green or blue light.

Rods
With 120 million in each eye, the rods are spread around the retina. More sensitive than the cones, they pick up low light but are not sensitive to colour.

IpRGC
Intrinsically Photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells play no role in sight but are very sensitive to blue light and synchronise our body clocks and sleep patterns.

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