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Peripheral Vision

  • Date Submitted: 03/25/2010 09:03 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57.9 
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Peripheral vision, or side vision, is that part of vision that detects objects outside the direct line of vision (Encyclopedia, 1987).   For instance, when you read a word on a page, you are using your central vision, but it’s your side vision that tells you if the word is at the beginning or end of a sentence, or at the top or bottom of a page.   Your peripheral vision also tells you where to look if someone enters the room or if a car is approaching from the side.   Like most people, you are probably not aware of the limitations that would exist without peripheral vision, because you are constantly moving your eyes in order to focus with your central vision ("Peripheral Vision." Peripheral Vision. Web. 12 Mar. 2010).
There is a small area in the center of the retina called the macula, which is less than ¼ inch in diameter, that is responsible for sharp, clear central vision and ability to perceive color densely packed photoreceptor (light-sensitive) cells in the macula control the eye’s central vision and are responsible for the ability to read, drive a car, watch television, see faces, and see detail in anything (Encyclopedia – “Peripheral Vision." 12 Mar. 2010).   The rest of the retina handles peripheral vision that enables the eyes to see objects off to the side while looking forward. Peripheral vision is sometimes broken into rings, like a target ("Peripheral Vision." World Book Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. Chicago: World Book, Inc, 2002. 288-89).   In the center of the retina is the detailed macular vision where the fovea is located.
There are two versions of peripheral vision.   The near-peripheral, or "paracentral" vision, is just around the center of the retina and is surrounded by the mid-peripheral vision. On the other hand, the far peripheral vision is at the edges of the field of view ("Peripheral Vision." World Book Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. Chicago: World Book, Inc, 2002. 288-89.) There are two types of photoreceptor cells in the retina -- rods and cones...


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