Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)



First Advisor

Lee Christianson

First Committee Member

Dale W. McNeal

Second Committee Member

Alice S. Hunter


The general organization and 'function of the vertebrate visual system has been under Investigation since the late nineteenth century (Gudden, lS7Qa, Gudden, 1870b). The organization of optic tracts and subcortical optic centers for the majority of vertebrates studied are found to be similar in both structure and function (Gudden, 1870a, Gudden, 1870b, Minkowski, 1913» Minkowski, 1920, and Lashley, 193^a). The sense organ, the eye, contains specific photoreceptor cells designated as either retinal rods or retinal cones. These two types of retinal cells possess an ability to convert light quanta into nerve impulses. The nerve impulses are transmitted via the optic nerves, and optic tracts to four major anatomical areas of Initial synapse within the central nervous system; the lateral geniculate bodies (for both the dorsal and ventral, nucleus) , the stratum optlcum of the superior colliculi, tlie pretectum, and the cuter cellular layers of the visual cortex located on either edge of the calcarine fissure of the temporal lobes (see Figures 1, 2, and 3)-





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