Human vision and function

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Cataract in Human Eye by Rakesh Ahuja, MD

This subject introduces you to the human visual system from the eye to the cortex. Normal function is presented by explaining characteristics of light as an electromagnetic energy spectrum; the anatomy and physiology of the eye; visual pathways to the brain, vision (including colour vision and 3D perception). The subject will enable you to identify and understand the five major eye diseases affecting populations globally (Refractive error (the need for corrective lenses/glasses), cataract, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration). Patient case scenarios will be used to help you understand the medical (drug) and surgical treatment and management of these diseases.

Topics and Learning Materials

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Your first task is to watch the introductory video which explains the subject format.

Next, work through each of the topics (How the eye works; Understanding vision & Vision in real life) in order to complete this on-line subject and prepare for subject assessment.

Part 1: How the eye works

Part 2: Understanding vision: visual acuity, colour vision and 3D perception

Part 3: Vision in real life: case studies

Learning objectives

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  1. Explain how the normal eye and brain enable perception of objects.
  2. Describe and document measurement of visual function.
  3. Describe common eye diseases as deviations from normal function.
  4. Discuss the sociological implications for individuals with decreased vision.
  5. Analyse a problem and clearly define and communicate the outcomes that will resolve or manage it.


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3x 60 min online quizzes

1x group poster, submitted online, approx. 1000 words per group member

Assessment resources

  • Academic Integrity and Plagiarism: Academic integrity is paramount when preparing your work. Please see the La Trobe University guidelines regarding Academic Integrity and Plagiarism.
  • Referencing Style: You will be expected to reference your work using APA style (this style is used by the Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University). Here is an example of APA Style.
  • Additional Resources: If you need extra help with studying and assignments, please refer to Develop Your Skills.


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The subject outline, topic areas and case studies were created by Ms Jean Pollock (DipAppSci (Orthoptics,GradDip (Neurosciences) MSc) and the on-line version was created by Dr Meri Vukicevic (B.Orth, Phd) together with input from staff in the Department of Clinical Vision Sciences, La Trobe University and Educational Designer Leigh Blackall