Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Vision Puzzle Revisited

Jason Kottke posted this link to a site that claims the resolution of the human eye is equal to a 576 megapixel image. Estimates for ISO, dynamic range, etc. are also given. I can't vouch for the veracity of the site, but even an error of two orders of magnitude is enough to keep me puzzled.

Again, consider Robert Cringley's comments on the bandwidth of the optic nerve:

"What we need to emulate here is the eye, itself. Look at the optic nerve that connects the retina of your eye to the visual cortex of your brain. The optic nerve is composed of approximately one million stringy cells called ganglia that fire in parallel over a distance of two to three centimeters with the actual visual signal travelling at about 4,400 feet-per-second. Taking into account recovery time between signals, the optic nerve has a total bandwidth of approximately 100 kbps..."

How many frames per second go through the eye? I dunno. We all know when the fps is too low and things look choppy. Multiply a too slow fps by 576 megapixels. This all goes through a 100 kbps pipe? Something doesn't add up. There seems to be some killer data compression or amazing psychological tricks going on with human vision.

(Here's an old post I wrote on the subject.)


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