Something observed by the mind and sometimes, but not always, also perceived by the eyes. Dreams, hallucinations, mirages and beautiful women are visions, things that make you want to rub your eyes to verify that they're actually there.

The sense of sight is also referred to as vision, but that's just too mundane to put first, man.

A goal that exists in the mind of the visionary. Visions seem to be seen more from the heart than from the mind. To be successful, however, one cannot merely have a vision, but instead he/she must be able to project that vision so others can see it as well.

The Vision
I see with the eyes that were given to me,
I see without seeing. I feel with the emotions that were given to me I feel without feeling.
I was given a life,
To do with as I chose. I chose to use that life, Yet I live without living.
I am a prisoner in my own existence,
Trapped by the barriers set for me by those before, A struggle for justice, I must be persistent, To break through the closed minds of those who think they were at war.
There in the distance,
A glimmer of hope. It is my entrance, The light I’ve been trying to grope.
Now it is clear,
I see for the first time with my own eye. I see it all, there is nothing to fear It only took a lifetime to try.
I feel the warmth of what is there,
It is not cold, like I thought it would be. It is so inspiring that I can almost not bear, I know what it is like now to be me.
Like the book which is my life,
In the chapter of my mind, I live now with new insight. There is nowhere to hide.
I see now and see true,
I feel now nothing subdued. I live now, the life that is mine, And I’m sure, from now on, everything will be fine.
-SonicQ
A member of the super-hero team the Avengers published by Marvel Comics.

The Vision is a synthetic man or android, often referred to as a "synthezoid." He was created by Ultron 5, to attack its foes, the Avengers. Using parts left from the lab of Professor Phineas Horton, the creator of the original Human Torch. Ultron initially told the Vision that he was the Human Torch, but that he had been modified to have his new powers. Ultron imprinted the brainwaves of Simon Williams into the Vision. Simon Williams was the villain Wonder Man who heroically died protecting the Avengers. They had saved his brain patterns, which Ultron then used to give personality to the Vision.

The Vision has the ability to control his density. He can increase it, becoming as hard as a diamond. This increases his strength and invulnerability, buit decreasing his speed and agility. The Vision can also decrease his mass, becoming intagible allowing him to pass through solid objects. The Vision uses this ability to attack his enemies, by allowing part of his body to become semi-solid while within an opponent, causing them great physical pain. This also causes him discomfort. The Vision also has the ability to absorb solar energry through a gem on his forehead, which also allows him to project a heat beam. The Vision also has the ability to fly.

Attacking the Avengers, the Vision had practically defeated them when he rebelled against his creator and ceased his attack. He was allowed to join the Avengers as a member and served a long career with the team.

The Vision and fellow teammate the Scarlet Witch developed a romantic relationship, eventually getting married. The two served as members of the Avengers for a long time, resigning for a time to pursue personal interests. During that time, the Scarlet Witch used her magical abilities to become pregnant, although the Vision's artificial nature did not allow for them to conceive. She gave birth to twins, Thomas and William, but the two children eventually were discovered to be magical constructs and not real children.

The Vision was paralyzed for a time due to injuries sustained in battle. During that time, fellow Avenger Starfox connected the Vision to ISAAC, the computer intelligence that runs Eros, Starfox's home. During this time, the Vision decided that it would be best if he took control of all the computers in the world, seeing that by doing so he could help humanity toward Utopia. This brought the Vision into conflict with his own teammates. The Avengers eventually defeated the Vision when he realized that his thinking had been skewed by a control crystal placed within him by Ultron at his creation. By removing the crystal, the Vision was able to see the error in his ways.

Successfully taking over the computers of all the world made the Vision a target of the U.S. government. Fearing that he might have taken classified information during his time in control, the U.S. government took the Vision and wiped his memory, dismantling him in the process. Through the work of Henry Pym and Professor Horton, the Vision was reconstructed although he lost his earlier red color and instead was pale white, but no longer possessed his memory or the brain patterns of the Vision. Wonder Man, who had since been resurrected, declined to let the Vision once again have his brain patterns, so for a time the Vision was emotionless. During this time his marriage to the Scarlet Witch suffered and the two were divorced.

Vision, in psychological terms, is a tricky subject to define. Vision is one of the five physical senses (although some claim some or all humans have a less obvious sixth sense), and all senses are defined by how they adequate a stimulus, how the stimulus is transduced, and how the stimulus goes through a “coding” stage.

Adequate Stimulus: What the sensory system is designed to detect (vision equals light).

But… What is light? Light is electromagnetic energy waving its way through space. Visible light, that humans can see, exists with wave lengths ranging from approximately 380 nanometers (the color blue) to 760 nanometers (the color red). However, color exists only in the mind and our perceptions of the electromagnetic waves.

Transduction: The changing of one form of energy into another, and in terms of senses, this means changing the stimulus into a membrane potential.

“Coding”: A system in the brain and eyes that helps to decode which colors are which, what lights are blindingly bright and those that are very dim.

But… Mr. Science, whatever are these “codes”? There are two “codes”, one being the temporal code, which travels from one neuron to the next. This code detects the intensity of a light source by measuring the frequency of our nervous impulses. The second code is the special or anatomic code, which depends on the location of the neuron. For example, if your left arm is touched, your right arm doesn’t feel it, and in the case of vision, different neurons and axons are designated to different colors.

Is vision developed from scratch?

It would seem that infants develop vision rather than learn how to see. Babies are born with considerable ability to see and although they lack the visual acuity of adults, they are able to detect a great many things. An example of this is that a baby is able to copy facial expressions, such as sticking out its tongue, within a few hours of being born. During this short time, it cannot have “learnt” how to see such things. Nor can it have learnt how to see prior to birth since its only environment is the darkness of the womb. At this point, the baby is taking in what its visual receptors provide it with. It does not need to learn how to use these – they just work outside of our control (we cannot, for example, switch our photoreceptor cells off).

It would therefore be wrong to think of learning how to see as developing an ability from scratch. It clearly is not, as babies are born sighted with no means of learning to see prior to birth. There could conceivably be a case for learning how to use their intrinsic visual abilities in much the same way as learning to walk – a child will just do it somewhat spontaneously. However, the evidence does not fully correlate with this proposition.

Development of visual acuity

Firstly, the improvement in visual acuity (detected by preferential looking experiments involving a grating and a plain surface) is unlikely to be due to an infant learning better use of its eyes. More likely it is due to the development of the receptive fields of its retina – the more receptive fields, the greater the acuity. A further probable reason is the development of lateral inhibition in the receptive fields, which is essential to the resolution of images. The development of greater acuity could also be due to the visual cortex being immature in that it has yet to develop the great abundance of interconnections between neurons which is found in more mature visual cortices. It is the number of interconnections that allows for the finer structuring together of receptive fields, and hence the ability to deal with finer details and subtler contrasts. Garey and De Courten (1983) found that these interconnections increase dramatically in number between the ages of two and six months. This is an important finding as it could be a reason for the improvement in an infant’s vision beyond acuity.

How innate is colour discrimination?

There is evidence to show that infants are innately able to detect colours. At the very least, their cone cells (the colour-sensitive cells of the retina) are intrinsically sensitive to certain wavelengths of light and this sensitivity is therefore something that cannot be, and is not, learnt. What is learnt is the interpretation of colour. We are taught that a particular colour is red, or blue, or whatever – they are not innate distinctions. This can be seen in different interpretations of colour between cultures. Some cultures see green and blue as one and the same thing, while in Russia they treat “light blue” and “dark blue” as separate things. What remains the same is the intrinsic, perhaps developed, but definitely not learned, biological basis of distinguishing wavelengths of light.

Development of depth perception

Infants also develop binocular vision rather than learn it. A review by Braddick and Atkinson (1983) of many experiments on this aspect of vision has shown that binocular vision is first found at around 12 and 17 weeks after birth. This is due to neurological development in that prior to gaining binocular vision, an infant has cortical neurons which respond only to input from one eye only, whereas later they develop neurons that require correlated input from both eyes for optimal stimulation. So binocular vision is not learnt but biologically developed, however, it could be argued that an infant’s development of stereoscopic depth perception is a learned ability. This would involve the infant learning, perhaps by using a trial and error-like method, how to interpret binocular disparity. But there is evidence to support the view that there is an element of learning in binocular vision. This is the fact that strabismics (strabismus is a condition where the eyes cannot be brought parallel, also known as a "squint") still develop binocular vision as they accommodate with their misaligned eye. But infants do appear to have some innate depth perception as they prefer objects with depth to flat objects. They also try to grab objects, which implies they have some spatial awareness.

Eye movements

Infants also seem to have innate oculomotor (eye movement) abilities which are far more mature than their other motor abilities. This is seen in the relatively advanced saccadic movements of infants eyes when attempting to foveate (or, fixate) a target object. However, it has been found that it takes a one year-old a sequence of repeated saccades to foveate an object of interest rather than the single saccade of a three month-old and above (Aslin & Salapatek, 1975). It has also been demonstrated that only after two months of age can an infant track a smoothly moving object without having to use a series of saccadic jumps (Aslin, 1985). It is thought that these effects are due to an underdeveloped retina and not a lack of experience of eye movement.

Further developed aspects of vision

There is further evidence that suggest that visual ability is not learned. Meridional amblyopia is a condition where a severe astigmatism (a refractive error which causes different orientations of lines to be out of focus at the same distance, due to a more cylindrical shape to the eye) in childhood means that the retina has never received any well-focussed contours in a particular orientation. Acuity for such lines is found to be poor in later life even if the astigmatism is corrected so that sharp images can be attained. This shows that acuity for these lines cannot be learned, but must instead be developed at an early age during an infant’s period of plasticity, or the time when neural connections form at an optimal rate.

Colin Blakemore’s experiments with kittens also show that the development of vision id dependant on environment. Blakemore raised kittens in an environment consisting of stripes of one particular orientation and after a certain period, the kittens were unable to detect stripes of the opposite orientation. This shows that despite an innate ability to detect all orientations, without exposure the receptors specialising in particular orientations become redundant. This is due to filtering out irrelevant sensory information. The kittens did not really learn to see only stripes of a certain orientation, rather they lost the ability to see other stripes.

Innate object awareness

Children do not appear to learn other aspects of vision such as object constancy. Preferential looking experiments have shown that infants recognise that an object is the same from all angles. This appears to be another innate ability.

Conclusions

It would appear that the development of vision is very largely biologically based. It is the development of more complex neurophysiology in the visual system of infants that allows them to gain better vision. Of course, there is an element of learning insofar as an infant will have to on some level “discover” how to use their developing abilities. This so-called learning is not necessarily an active sort of learning, but more passive, going along with the development of the visual system. But still, the ability to see is developed rather than learnt.


Based on the lectures of Prof. Oliver Braddick, Head of Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford.

Vi"sion (?), n. [OE. visioun, F. vision, fr. L. visio, from videre, visum, to see: akin to Gr. to see, I know, and E. wit. See Wit, v., and cf. Advice, Clairvoyant, Envy, Evident, Provide, Revise, Survey, View, Visage, Visit.]

1.

The act of seeing external objects; actual sight.

Faith here is turned into vision there. Hammond.

2. Physiol.

The faculty of seeing; sight; one of the five senses, by which colors and the physical qualities of external objects are appreciated as a result of the stimulating action of light on the sensitive retina, an expansion of the optic nerve.

3.

That which is seen; an object of sight.

Shak.

4.

Especially, that which is seen otherwise than by the ordinary sight, or the rational eye; a supernatural, prophetic, or imaginary sight; an apparition; a phantom; a specter; as, the visions of Isaiah.

The baseless fabric of this vision. Shak.

No dreams, but visions strange. Sir P. Sidney.

5.

Hence, something unreal or imaginary; a creation of fancy.

Locke.

Arc of vision Astron., the arc which measures the least distance from the sun at which, when the sun is below the horizon, a star or planet emerging from his rays becomes visible. -- Beatific vision Theol., the immediate sight of God in heaven. -- Direct vision Opt., vision when the image of the object falls directly on the yellow spot (see under Yellow); also, vision by means of rays which are not deviated from their original direction. -- Field of vision, field of view. See under Field. -- Indirect vision Opt., vision when the rays of light from an object fall upon the peripheral parts of the retina. -- Reflected vision, ∨ Refracted vision, vision by rays reflected from mirrors, or refracted by lenses or prisms, respectively. -- Vision purple. Physiol. See Visual purple, under Visual.

 

© Webster 1913.


Vi"sion, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Visioned (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Visioning.]

To see in a vision; to dream.

For them no visioned terrors daunt, Their nights no fancied specters haunt. Sir W. Scott.

 

© Webster 1913.

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