The senses: Vision
Listen now
Vision is a complex process involving light rays, special nerve cells and electrical signals sent to the brain, which processes the information and tells us what we’re seeing. But even tiny disruptions to any part of this system can result in remarkable visual problems. Neurologist, Dr Guy Leschziner, meets 25-year-old filmmaker Oli, who’s only recently discovered something alarming: he’s missing half his vision in one eye - probably caused by a stroke he never knew he had. We hear from Dawn, whose eyes are working properly and yet she’s almost completely blind. Her visual problems are caused by damage to a vital nerve connecting her eyeballs and her brain. Susan describes how her epilepsy is causing visual distortions that mean she can see through a person as if they were transparent. And we meet Nina who’s been robbed of her sight after two separate accidents. And yet, she sees colours and terrifying images of zombie faces. She discovers she has Charles Bonnet Syndrome – visual hallucinations caused by loss of sight Through the extraordinary experiences of these individuals, we learn how vision is not like a video camera, a straightforward process of turning light into a picture. Photo: Dawn, whose eyes are working properly and yet she’s almost completely blind Credit: BBC
More Episodes
Neurologist Dr Guy Leschziner explores the extraordinary sensory experiences of individuals with synaesthesia - a mash-up of senses where one sense automatically triggers another. Some synaesthetes hear colours, others feel sound. We meet James who perceives the world differently from most...
Published 08/26/20
Imagine spraying yourself with a flowery fragrance but all you can smell is rotting flesh? Our senses can be surprisingly strange, especially when they malfunction due to injury, disease or genetic abnormalities. In this episode, neurologist Dr Guy Leschziner, explores two senses, smell and...
Published 08/19/20
From a whisper to the roar of thunder, every sound creates vibrations in our ears which the brain decodes, to tell us what we’re hearing. But, as neurologist, Dr Guy Leschziner explains, when disruptions occur along the way, extraordinary things can happen, changing the way we perceive the...
Published 08/12/20