bullet The Human Eye: an Intelligent Optical Sensor (The Inverted Retina: a Diffractive-optical Correlator)

    (Open Access Book)


  Title: The Human Eye: an Intelligent Optical Sensor (The Inverted Retina: a Diffractive-optical Correlator)

  Author: Norbert Lauinger

  Publisher: International Frequency Sensor Association (IFSA) Publishing, S. L.

  Formats: paperback (print book with full colour illustrations) and printable pdf Acrobat (e-book), 410 pages

  Price: 179.99 EUR for print book in paperback (shipping cost by a standard mail is included).

  Delivery time for print book: 7-17 days dependent on country of destination. Please contact us for priority (5-9 days), ground (3-8 days) and express (2-3 days) delivery options by e-mail

  Pubdate: 5 November 2014

  ISBN: 978-84-617-2934-0

  e-ISBN: 978-84-617-2955-5


  Creative Commons License



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 Book Description



The Human Eye: an Intelligent Optical Sensor (The inverted retina: a diffractive-optical correlator) shows that the human eye from the prenatal structuring of the inverted retina hardware on up to the design of the central cortical visual pathway is not only different from but also radically more intelligent than a camera.


The three retinal nuclear layers, positioned lightwards before the photoreceptors, are interpreted as cellular diffractive-optical phase- and space-gratings allowing interference optical Fresnel near-field multilayer information pre-processing in vision with spatial frequency filtering, 3D-mapping, optical RGB color processing in day- and dim-light vision.


Many paradoxes in color vision (RGB peak positioning in the visible spectrum, overlapping of the RGB channels, relating local color to the whole scene, paradoxically colored shadows, Purkinje phenomenon etc.) are becoming intelligent solutions. With its hexagonal and polar microstructure, the retinal net, linked to the body’s coordinate system by hemisphere and quadrant dissection of the visible in the central visual pathway, also contributes to object classification and identification: WHAT something visible is more generally (a ‘bird’ or a ‘car’) or more specifically (a ‘robin’ or a ‘Ferrari’). The inverted retina with its three-layer processing represents the ‘missing link’ between imaging optics and the cortical multilayer information processing.


A fascinating book for all those wondering that the brightness of a scene is not cut in half and that the visible world doesn’t collapse into a flat 2D-image when closing one eye. Of great interest for students, scientists and engineers in eye-, vision- and brain-research, neuroscience, psychophysics, ophthalmology, psychology, optical sensor and diffractive optical engineering.


Practical applications are the search for a retinal implant of the next generation and a helpful strategy against myopia in early childhood.







How a life’s journey leads to writing a book

Man as an artist does not play his instrument as a violinist plays his violin, but

he spends a lifetime inside his instrument

Special thanks



1. Introduction


1.1. Paradox and Smart Facts in Human Vision

1.2. The Eye is more than and Different to a Camera

1.3. Photoreceptors for CCD Cameras and for the Eyes

1.4. The Unity of Visual Objects and the Diffraction of their Images in Seeing

1.5. Diffraction and Interference of Light in Human Vision? With the Interference Term Intelligence Comes into the Game

1.6. Interference Optics is at Home in the Micro and in the Nano World

1.7. Light as a Particle in the Double Slit Experiment

1.8. Light as a Wave in the Double Slit Experiment

1.9. Would Interference Optics be Able to Explain the Non-additivity of Luminances in Binocular Vision?

1.10. Color Constancy in Daylight Vision: the Individual and the Whole

1.11. Two Axes and a Double ‘Blind Spot’ in Each Eye are Present in the Central Area of Vision

1.12. The Inverted Retina Construction

1.13. The Unusual Position of the Peaks of the Spectral RGB Sensitivity Curves in Additive Tri-chromatic Color Vision

1.14. The Axis-centered Symmetry Operations in the Central Nervous System and in the Ocular System

1.15. From the Body’s Own Reference System to the Object-centered 3D Coordinates of Seen Objects

1.16. The Axis-centered ‘Global Optical Column’ in the Imaging of Visual Objects

1.17. Axis-centered Symmetry Operations in the Central Visual Pathway



2. The Prenatal Development of the Eyes and the Central Visual Pathway


2.1. The Development of the Visual Organ Before Birth

2.2. The Brain Develops the Pair of Eyes and Imposes Structural Requirements; the Eyes Develop the Central Visual Pathway to the Brain

2.3. The Cellular Elements are the Cortical Micro Construction Materials for the Eye

2.4. The Emergence of the Eyes from the Forebrain

2.5. The First Setting of the Course to the Disadvantage of the Construction of an Ommatidium Eye

2.6. The Invagination of the Eye Cavity: Setting the Course for the Optical Imaging of the Visible World

2.7. The Second Setting of the Course to the Disadvantage of a Camera Construction Plan

2.8. The Third Setting of the Course for an 'Inverted Retina' in Favor of a Diffractive-optical Correlator in the Eye

2.9. The Eye Axis is the Primary Axis Centering the Eye, the Visual Axis is the Secondary Axis. The Papilla is the Primary Pole; the Fovea is the Secondary Pole

       in the Retina

2.10. The Development of Cellular Layers in the Cornea and Lens of the Eye into Optical Gratings and Space Gratings

2.11. The Differentiation of the Nuclear Retinal Layers

2.12. The Central Cell Body Accumulation and the Shift of the Frequency Peak of the Retinal Cell Bodies from the Papilla to the Fovea

2.13. The Splitting of the First Distribution Peak of the Cell Bodies and the Re-centering of the Cell Body Distribution from the Eye Axis to the Visual Axis

2.14. The Development of Photoreceptors (Cones and Rods)

2.15. The Development of the Photoreceptor Outer Segments

2.16. The Special Position of the Foveola Funnel in the Center of the Fovea

2.17. The Distribution Patterns of the Cones and Rods in the Retina

2.18. The Sampling Geometry of the Optic Nerve in the Bipolar and Biaxially Centered Retina

2.19. The Pre-natal Development of the Central Visual Pathway and the Cortical Requirements for Fixating Vision



3. Diffraction and Interference of Light, Information in Diffraction Patterns


3.1. Information in the Fraunhofer Far-field at Diffraction of Light on a Single Aperture

3.2. Information in the Fraunhofer Far-field at Diffraction of Light on a Planar Grating

3.3. Information in the Fraunhofer Far-field at Diffraction of White (X-ray and Visible) Light on Space-gratings

3.4. Information in the Fraunhofer Far-field at Diffraction of Light on Gratings, which are Composed of Periodically Structured Sub-areas

3.5. Information in the Fraunhofer Far-field at Optical Imaging of a Periodic Object on to a Diffractive Space-grating

3.6. Information in Fourier-space of the Imaging Lens Optics

3.7. Information in the Fresnel Near- or Middle-field at Diffraction of Light on One or Multiple Apertures

3.8. Fresnel-interferences in Talbot- and Fractional Talbot-planes of Diffractive Gratings

3.9. The Transition from Fresnel to Fraunhofer Diffraction Patterns at Apertures and Gratings

3.10. The Optical Imaging of an Object on to a Hexagonal Diffraction Grating and the Information about Object and Grating in the Fractional Fresnel Diffraction


3.11. The Diffraction of Light on a ‚Hierarchical’ Hexagonal Grating in the Fractional Talbot-/Fresnel-planes

3.12. How do the Inverted Retina in the Eye and the Brain Profit by the Interference-optical Laws?



4. Spatial Frequency Filtering in the Grating Optical Correlator of the Eye


4.1. Contrast Sensitivity and Spatial Frequency Filtering in the Eye

4.2. The Saccades in Fixating Vision

4.3. The Grating-optical Correlator-product Made up of Object and Sensor Structures

4.4. Object Structures and Object Characteristics in the Visible

4.5. The Inherent Structure of the Grating-optical Correlator in the Eye

4.6. The Grating-optical Explanation of the Visus-values in Daylight and in Twilight Vision



5. The Monocular 3D-depth Map in the Eye


5.1. Geometrical Optics Searching for the Monocular 3D-depth Map

5.2. Diffractive Optics Searching for the Monocular 3D-depth Map

5.3. The Distances between Images of Objects in Imaging Optics and their Miniaturization by the Fresnel-interference Optics

5.3.1. The Depth-map of Imaging Optics

5.3.2. The ‚Optical Swing’ in the Eye: Object Fixation and Accommodation of the Imaging Optics to the Object Distance

5.3.3. Gratings in Image Space Compress the Optical 3D Depth Map

5.3.4. A Constant Photoreceptor Matrix at the Central Image Plane of the Fixated Object

5.4. Diffractive Optics and the Fresnel ‘Phase-retrieval‘ Depth Map

5.5. Information about the (Hierarchical) Grating and about Local Objects in the 3D-depth Map

5.6. The Miniaturized Monocular 3D-depth Map in the Eye and the Three Typical Marginalities of Accommodation in the ‘Optical Swing’

5.7. Does the Cortical Visual Center V1 Dispose of a Monocular 3D-Depth Map ?



6. Spectral Space-grating Optics in the Diffractive-optical Correlator of the Human Eye


6.1. Well-known and Less-known Facts Regarding Human Color Vision

6.2. Physical Equilibrium in the White Spectrum and Physiological Equilibrium in the RGB-white-sensation of Color Vision

6.3. Diffraction and Interference of Light on the Planar Grating and on the 3D-space-grating; Fresnel Medium-field and Fraunhofer Far-field Interferences

6.4. The Dealing of the Sensory Organs with the Reciprocity of Wavelength and Frequency ν in ν = 1

6.5. Interferences in the Fresnel Near- or Medium-field at Diffraction of Light on a Space-grating Located in Image Space of an Optical Imaging System

6.6. The Mathematical Equations for the Diffractive Interference-Optical Light Double Cone Transformations in Space-gratings

6.7. The Application of the Von-Laue Equation to Hexagonal Space-gratings

6.8. The Chromatic Tuning of a Space-grating

6.9. The Crystal-optical Resonance Factor

6.10. The Harmonically Linked RGB-diffraction Order Triplet

6.11. The Fresnel-interference Optics for Light Double Cones with Different Apertures

6.12. The Longer and Shorter Wavelengths in Comparison to 111 =559 nm in the 111R-diffraction Order

6.13. Wavelengths Contributing by Means of the Same Light Cone to all Three RGB-sensitivity Curves

6.14. Space-grating Optics Provides the Complete RGB Sensitivity Curves

6.15. The Modulation of the Spectral Maxima along the Outer Segments of the Cones in Reciprocal Space

6.16. The Significance of the Interference Terms for the Light-like Geometry in Space-grating Optics

6.17. The Chromatic Harmonics in Vision and in Hearing

6.18. The Description of the Double Cone Transformations of the Fresnelinterferences in the Space-grating by Means of the So-called Reciprocal Von-Laue Equation

6.19. The Spectral Space-grating Optics and the Monocular 3D-depth Map

6.20. The Importance of the Spectral Space-grating Optics for the Better Understanding of Human Color Vision



7. Space-gratings in Aperture and Image Space of Optics: New Insights into RGB-based Achromatic and Color Vision, Opponent Colors, Color

    Constancy, Purkinje-shift and Bezold-Brücke Phenomenon


7.1. Space-gratings in Aperture and Image Space of the Eye, their Contribution to RGB Color Vision

7.2. White and Gray Achromatic Sensations are Equilibria of Local and Global RGB Data

7.3. Color Sensations are Disequilibria of Local and Global RGB-Data

7.3.1. The BLUE-TURQUOISE Sensation

7.3.2. The GREEN Sensation

7.3.3. The YELLOW Sensation

7.3.4. The RED Sensation

7.4. Color Constancy in the Change between White and Colored Illuminations

7.5. The Relation-building between Local and Global RGB Data in the Grating Optical Correlator

7.6. The Complete Hardware of the Grating-optical Correlator in the Eye

7.7. Space-gratings in Aperture and Image Space of the Eye and their Contribution to the ‘Paradoxical’ Colored Shadows in Twilight

7.8. The Repartition of the Light onto Two Lights in Twilights

7.9. Colored Lights in Twilights and their ‘Normal’ Colored Shadows

7.10. Goethe’s Experiment with the Full Moon and a Candle

7.11. The World of Fairies in Goethe’s Walking Tour in the Harz Mountains

7.12. The ‘Normal’ Colored Shadows in the Closed Opponent Color Wheel

7.13. The ‘Paradoxical’ Colored Shadows in Twilights

7.14. The Opponent Color After-images in Color Vision

7.15. Space-grating Optics and Scotopic Vision: the Intensity-adaptive Purkinje-shift

7.16. The Bezold-Brücke Phenomena in Human Color Vision



8. The Grating-optical Layered Pre-processing of the Visible in Global and Local Optical Columns


8.1. The Pre-processing of the Visible in 'Global' Optical Columns

8.2. The Pre-processing of the Visible in 'Local' Optical Columns

8.3. The Layered Grating-optical and Neuronal Information Pre-processing in the ‘Inverted’ Retina

8.4. The Specific Visual Functionalities in the Layered Grating-Optical Information Pre-processing



9. Object Classification and Object Identification in Vision


9.1. How Vision Ascribes a Meaning to Things

9.2. The Polarity of Classification and Identification

9.3. The Correlator-optical Hardware of the Eyes and their Visual Pathway Available for Object Classification and Identification

9.4. At Object Classification and Identification, Vision Reduces all Objects to Relations

9.5. The Polarly Centered Processing of the Shape of Right Triangles in the Hexagonal Net and the Determination of their Similarity

9.6. The Polarly Centered Processing of the Shape of Quadrangles in the Hexagonal Net and the Determination of their Similarity

9.7. The (Log-) Polar Ascertainment of a Typically Human Figure

9.8. Harmonics-analyses and Saccades in Vision

9.9. The Acoustic Melody as an Invariant in Human Hearing

9.10. From the (Log-) Polar Shape Analysis to the Melody of a Visible Object: the Harmonic Pythagoras’ Analysis of the Visible

9.11. The Differentiation Between Object-categories in Hearing and in Vision..348

9.12. Object Identification Succeeds Best in Fixating Vision, Object Classification in Non-fixating Vision

9.13. The Correlate of the Visible in the Eye








How the Visible World Gets into the Head

What in Human Vision Holds the World Together in its Innermost

What in the Bio-engineering of a Retina Implant of the Next Generations is Technically Due

What the Grating-optical Correlator and Diffractive interference Optics in the Eye Contribute to the Experiencing of Reality

The Path of Learning in Vision, of Understanding and Naming of Objects is Long






Appendix. Prevention of MYOPIA: the Eye Ought to Exercise the Use of the 3rd Dimension of the Visible at an Early Age


The Imaging Equation of Optics

The Options the Eye has for the ‚Proper’ Processing of the Third Dimension

How does the Eye Find an Accommodation Resting Position in Vision ?

The Optical Parallel Processing of the Visible in the Eye




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