Biopsychological Perspective of the Visual System

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Page count 4
Word count 1141
Read time 5 min
Topic Health
Type Essay
Language 🇺🇸 US


This essay is an analysis of the visual system from a biopsychological perspective. The paper is an analysis of published secondary data regarding this topic from books and journal articles. The essay consists of an introduction section, followed by an analysis of the physiological underpinnings of the visual system. This section analyzes the structure and function of this system, while the next section examines the psychological underpinnings of the optical system. The psychological examination dwells on the cognitive-perceptual aspects of the visual system. The final section of this essay is the conclusion that provides a summary of everything in the paper.


The various sensorimotor systems of the body can be analyzed along different fronts other than the biopsychological perspective. Analysis along from diverse perspectives enables a better understanding of these systems and their mechanisms of operation. This understanding is crucial for developing learning materials for educational purposes and makes research on them easier to conduct. A better understanding of various sensorimotor systems also enables medicine, in general, to evolve and tackle various illnesses likely to arise about these systems. Vision is arguably one of the most critical sensorimotor systems in the body. A defective visual system is costly to repair, and where such an intervention is impossible, the victim endures a hard life devoid of some privileges enjoyed by other people. Comprehending the visual system from the biopsychological perspective is educative and liberating, ensuring that some inaccurate information is eliminated.

Physiologic Underpinnings


The human visual system consists of four distinct parts, with the first part being the two eyes located in the face. The second part consists of the optic nerves, the chiasm, and tracts; the third part is the lateral geniculate nuclei, while the fourth is the visual cortex. Each eye consists of several layers that all have distinct functions to ensure that vision is successful. The anterior-most part of the eye is the cornea that functions to refract light rays appropriately as they enter the eye from various angles and different sides (Khurana & Khurana, 2017). The retina is the part of the eye where the image is eventually focused on ensuring that vision is achieved. The retina is made up of photoreceptor cells of two types: rods and cones that respond to light of different frequencies.

Axons that collect signals from the retinal cells form the two optic nerves, one from each eye. The two nerves decussate at a point known as the optic chiasm and are referred to as the optic tracts. The continuity of the optic tracts is such that the optic nerve from the right eye forms the left tract while the optic nerve from the left eye forms the right track (Khurana & Khurana, 2017). Each optic tract terminates at the lateral geniculate nucleus, the visual part of the dorsal thalamus. Linkages from the lateral geniculate nucleus terminate in the visual cortex. Various parts of the retina are represented at specific areas within the cortex, and their signals and interpreted independently and in conjunction with signals from elsewhere.


Various parts of the visual system coordinate to ensure that vision is achieved. The eye perceives light and presents the images for transmission by the optic nerves and the optic tracts. The geniculate nucleus acts as the relay center for the signals to the visual cortex, interpreting the signals transmitted and sharing those signals with other parts of the brain (Schiller & Tehovnik, 2015). The visual cortex ensures that sense is made of the various images perceived by the eyes in the first place. The functioning of the eye in the execution of its function is dependent on the integrity of the rods and cones. The cones are responsible for visual experiences at high levels of light called photopic conditions. The rods are responsible for vision at deficient light levels called scotopic conditions (Schiller & Tehovnik, 2015). The rods and cones are each adapted differently to detect their designated light levels effectively. Cones are, therefore, responsible for higher resolution vision, providing more details, while the rods are responsible for low-resolution vision in the dark.

Psychological Underpinnings


The visual system has a stake in influencing the workings of the cognitive system in several aspects, such as influencing emotions. The sense of vision is crucial in detecting the mood of an environment they have arrived at. After looking at people’s faces, it is possible to tell what they feel and the overwhelming attitude within an environment (Kragel et al., 2019). The association of visual images with different emotional states has been attributed to learned experiences. This association can be demonstrated effectively by observing infants who imitate various facial expressions from those around them. These imitations are without a clear understanding of the circumstances. Eventually, they recognize the multiple expressions and learn to attribute them to various occasions (Kragel et al., 2019). The visual system can help one detect danger by simply looking at the people around them (Fennell et al., 2019). This is a crucial advantage that those with visual deformities are deprived of during their lifetimes.

The visual cortex connections with various parts of the brain responsible for other functions such as movement are also a vital part of the cognitive role vision plays. The most potent illustration of this connection is the fight, flight, flight response by the autonomic nervous system (Fennell et al., 2019). This response is usually at display when one encounters danger, seeing it first and then reacting to it. The person in the vicinity of the threat may fight off the threat in their area, and other body systems ensure the person is sufficiently equipped to deal with the threat (Fennell et al., 2019). The processing of the visual trouble in the visual cortex is relayed to other parts of the brain, and there is an increased release of energy and adrenaline. Identifying things using the optical system and naming them correctly is also another cognitive role of vision.


In conclusion, the visual system is one of the most critical systems in the body and plays many vital roles in survival. The optical system consists of the eyes, the transport system of nerves and tracts, the relay system in the geniculate nucleus, and the visual cortex that processes all the signals. The visual system is specialized in its functions, with cones being responsible for bright light and the rods being responsible for dim light. The optical system is immensely crucial for cognitive and emotional roles. In the dissemination of knowledge, the visual system is essential for the recognition of things. The visual system is also responsible for emotional responses, some of which are indispensable for survival. The optical system enables one to recognize the emotions of people and guide reactions appropriately. The visual system also allows one to recognize danger and react appropriately in life-saving situations.


Fennell, J. G., Talas, L., Baddeley, R. J., Cuthill, I. C., & Scott-Samuel, N. E. (2019). Optimizing colour for camouflage and visibility using deep learning: the effects of the environment and the observer’s visual system. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 16(154), 20190183. Web.

Khurana, A. K., & Khurana, I. (2017). Anatomy and Physiology of Eye. In Google Books. CBS Publishers & Distributors. Web.

Kragel, P. A., Reddan, M. C., LaBar, K. S., & Wager, T. D. (2019). Emotion schemas are embedded in the human visual system. Science Advances, 5(7), eaaw4358. Web.

Schiller, P. H., & Tehovnik, E. J. (2015). Vision and the Visual System. In Google Books. Oxford University Press. Web.

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EssaysInCollege. (2022, August 30). Biopsychological Perspective of the Visual System. Retrieved from


EssaysInCollege. (2022, August 30). Biopsychological Perspective of the Visual System.

Work Cited

"Biopsychological Perspective of the Visual System." EssaysInCollege, 30 Aug. 2022,


EssaysInCollege. (2022) 'Biopsychological Perspective of the Visual System'. 30 August.


EssaysInCollege. 2022. "Biopsychological Perspective of the Visual System." August 30, 2022.

1. EssaysInCollege. "Biopsychological Perspective of the Visual System." August 30, 2022.


EssaysInCollege. "Biopsychological Perspective of the Visual System." August 30, 2022.