Share Email Print
cover

Proceedings Paper

Image formation in the eye: very specified complexity
Author(s): David E. Stoltzmann
Format Member Price Non-Member Price
PDF $14.40 $18.00

Paper Abstract

The formation of an image, and its correct interpretation by sighted living creatures, is a unique example of specified complexity unlike anything else in nature. While many of the functional aspects of living organisms are extremely complex, only an image requires a unique mapping process by the eye-brain system to be useful to the organism. The transfer of light from an object scene to a visual detection system (eye + brain) conveys an enormous amount of information. But unless that information is correctly organized into a useful image, the exchange of information is degraded and of questionable use. This paper examines the "connections" necessary for images to be interpreted correctly, as well as addressing the additional complexity requirement of dual-image mapping for stereovision capabilities. Statistics are presented for "simple eyes" consisting of a few pixels to illustrate the daunting task that random chance has to produce any form of a functional eye. For example, a 12-pixel eye (or camera) has 12! (479,001,600) possible pixel-to-brain (computer) wiring combinations, which can then be compared to the 126 million rods/cones of the actual human eye. If one tries to "connect the wires" (correctly interpret the information contained) in a 12-pixel image by random processes, by the time 6 pixels become correctly connected, over 99.9% of all the trials are incorrect, producing "noise" rather than a recognizable image. Higher numbers of pixels quickly make the problem astronomically worse for achieving any kind of useful image. This paper concludes that random-chance purposeless undirected processes cannot account for how images are perceived by living organisms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 August 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5866, The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?, (4 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.611397
Show Author Affiliations
David E. Stoltzmann, Optical Engineering of Minnesota (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5866:
The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?
Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri; Katherine Creath, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top