Friday, December 23 2016
11:30 - 12:30

Chandrasekhar Hall

Early Arab Contributions to Vision Science and the Central Role of Ibn al Haytham.

Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan

University of Waterloo

Ibn al Hytham╣s Kitab al-Manzir (Book of Optics), extended the work of
the Greeks and succeeded in combining geometrical optics with the anatomy
and physiology of vision. Thus he can be considered the father of the
science of Physiological Optics, a term coined by Herman von Helmholtz in
the 1860s. A pioneer of the experimental method, he seems to have been
the first writer to state that perception takes place in the brain not
within the eye itself. His formulation of the intromission theory was a
consequence of his reliance on observation and experiment and can be
thought of as the scientific method which is usually ascribed to Bacon.
In this talk I will discuss the history of vision science and outline the
crucial role of Ibn al Hytham who should rightfully called the founder of
Physiological Optics.



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