Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Studying brain functional activities is an area that is experiencing rapid interest in the field of neuroimaging. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has provided vision science researchers a powerful and noninvasive tool to understand eye function and correlate it with brain activities. In this chapter, we focus on the physiological aspects followed by a literature review. More specifically, to motivate and appreciate the complexity of the visual system, we will begin with a description of specific stages the visual pathway, beginning from the distal stimulus and ending in the visual cortex. More importantly, the development of ascending visual pathway will be discussed in order to help in understanding various disorders associated with it such as monochromacy, albinism, amblyopia (refractive, strabismic). In doing so we will divide the first half into two main sections, the visual pathway and the development of the ascending pathway. The first of these sections will be mostly an anatomy review and the latter will discuss the development of this anatomy with specific examples of disorders as a result of abnormal development. We will then discuss fMRI studies with focus on vision science applications. The remaining sections of this chapter will be highlighting the work done on mainly oculomotor function, some perception and visual dysfunction with fMRI and investigate the differences and similarities in their findings. We will then conclude with a discussion on how this relates to neurologists, neuroscientists, ophthalmologists and other specialists.