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Retina Facts

Light-sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye

  • The optics of the eye create an image of the visual world on the retina, which serves much the same function as the film in a camera.
  • Light striking the retina initiates a cascade of chemical and electrical events that ultimately trigger nerve impulses.
  • These are sent to various visual centers of the brain through the fibers of the optic nerve.
  • It is a layered structure with several layers of neurons interconnected by synapses.
  • The only neurons that are directly sensitive to light are the photoreceptor cells.
  • The vertebrate retina has ten distinct layers.
  • In adult humans, the entire retina is approximately 72% of a sphere about 22 mm in diameter.
  • The entire retina contains about 7 million cones and 75 to 150 million rods.
  • George Wald, Haldan Keffer Hartline and Ragnar Granit won the 1967 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their scientific research on the retina.
  • A recent University of Pennsylvania study calculated the approximate bandwidth of human retinas is 8.75 megabits per second, whereas guinea pig retinas transfer at 875 kilobits.
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