Human Visual Functions

Subject OPTO20002 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Lectures, tutorials and practical work.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 lectures/tutorials and 18 hours of practical work during the semester
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours
Prerequisites: Completion of
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: A first year level mathematics subject is recommended, but not a prerequisite.
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering applications for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005) and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, this subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in practical activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Prof Trichur Vidyasagar



Subject Overview:

The topics covered are the light sense, including spectral sensitivity, light and dark adaptation and mechanisms of adaptation; the colour sense, including a detailed account of colour processing that will form the basis for understanding of colour ­deficiencies; temporal resolution and movement perception; and the form sense including visual acuity and the contrast sensitivity function.

Objectives: This subject aims to provide students with a detailed account of the capabilities of the human visual system and an introduction to theories of visual function. Experience is gained in the laboratory classes in measuring visual functions and in using classical visual psychophysical methodology.

Ongoing assessment of practical work during the semester (20%) and a 30-minute written examination held mid-semester (10%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (70%). Satisfactory completion of the ongoing assessment is necessary to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:
  • T T Norton, D A Corlliss & J E Bailey, The Psychophysical Measurement of Visual Function. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2003.
Recommended Texts:
  • P L Kaufman, A Alm, eds, Adler's Physiology of the Eye, Clinial Applications, 10th Ed, Mosby 2003 (or later edition)
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Optometry.

Enrolment into this subject is only by invitation of the Head of Department.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Optometry

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