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Visual perception –

also known as “eyesight” or “vision” – is the capacity to detect light by the eye, and the ability of the brain to interpret the visible light information as an image. This information includes color, brightness, shape, depth, and motion.

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Vision is one of the traditional five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch.

Sense | definition | noun

a process by which a living organism receives information about its environment.

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Visual perception is a complex process that is often misunderstood.

What people believe they see is not simply a translation of retinal information but involves light, eye function, and visual processing in the brain influenced by past experiences (memory, language, emotion, etc).

Three main components of visual perception 1 light 2 the eye 3 the brain l.jpg

Three main components of misunderstood.

visual perception:

1. Light

2. The Eye

3. The Brain

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1. Light misunderstood., or visible light, is electromagnetic radiation whose wavelength (frequency) is visible to the human eye. The way an object absorbs and reflects light determines how it can be perceived.

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2. The Eye misunderstood.

The iris – a set of muscles that opens and contracts the pupil. The iris and pupil control the amount of light that enters the eye.

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The misunderstood.retina is a layer of tissue at the back of the eye containing cells that are sensitive to light. These cells trigger nerve impulses that pass via the optic nerve to the brain. The retina is also considered a part of the brain.

The lens changes shape to focus light reflected by objects at different distances onto the retina.

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3. The Brain misunderstood.

The optic nerves transmit impulses from the retina to the visual cortex. The data received in the visual cortex is processed by five specialized areas, as well as other parts of the cerebral cortex such as memory, language, and consciousness.

How do these processes work together to produce the color of an image for example a red apple l.jpg

How do these processes work together to produce the color of an image – for example, a red apple?

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A 'red' apple does not emit red light. Rather, it absorbs all the frequencies of visible light shining on it except for a group of frequencies that is perceived as red, which are reflected.

A red apple is perceived to be red only because the human eye can distinguish between different wavelengths.

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What are the main steps involved in the process of “seeing” a red apple?

1. Light

2. Iris

3. Pupil

4. Lens

5. Retina

6. Optic Nerves

7. Visual Cortex

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VISUAL ART AS COMMUNICATION “seeing” a red apple?



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Visual Communication “seeing” a red apple?

Communication|definition| noun

the exchange of thoughts, messages,

or information

the successful sharing of ideas and


social contact

the means of connection between


a message

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A VERY BRIEF History of art as visual Communication communication?

Cave paintings primarily showed animals such as horses, bulls, deer, and bison.

The earliest evidence of visual communication are cave paintings dating 32,000 years ago.

Cave painting in Lascaux, France

But later prehistoric rock art appears to be more abstract lines curves spirals etc l.jpg

Cheung Chau, Hong Kong communication?

1000 BCE

But later prehistoric rock art appears to be more abstract – lines, curves, spirals, etc.

Fourknocks, Ireland

3000 BCE

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According to archeologists, these early people had already developed language skills and spiritual beliefs.This tells us one thing for sure:They were storytellers.

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Narrative developed language skills and spiritual beliefs.| definition | noun

an account of connected events

Story | definition | noun

a narrative of imaginary or real people and events that has an emotional or ethical purpose for the storyteller, the audience, or both

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What stories were these cave paintings and rock art meant to tell?

What stories do these cave paintings and rock art tell us about their creators?

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How are visual images used to tell stories today? tell?

How can you tell if a visual story is meant to represent reality?

How can you tell when a visual story is not real?

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This painting in the caves at Lascaux is believed to be a unicorn, the only animal out of over 900 paintings there that is imaginary – not ‘real.’

There is also only one image of a human.

What do you think that means?