Making Sense of Sight

Volume 28 Issue 10 | October 2014

Featured Articles

image: The Eye

The Eye

By The Scientist Staff | October 1, 2014

An overview of visual processing

image: The Bionic Eye

The Bionic Eye

By Various Researchers | October 1, 2014

Using the latest technologies, researchers are constructing novel prosthetic devices to restore vision in the blind.

image: The Rainbow Connection

The Rainbow Connection

By Kerry Grens | October 1, 2014

Color vision as we know it resulted from one fortuitous genetic event after another.

image: Setting the Record Straight

Setting the Record Straight

By Daniel Cossins | October 1, 2014

Scientists are taking to social media to challenge weak research, share replication attempts in real time, and counteract hype. Will this online discourse enrich the scientific process?




Meet some of the people featured in the October 2014 issue of The Scientist.


Eye Spies

An issue highlighting advances in vision research

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Vision Science

October 2014's selection of notable quotes


Visualizing the Vibe

Retrieving sound from video recordings of inanimate objects can have surprising applications.

One Fish, Two Fish

Despite a lack of vision, a blind cavefish can count. Sort of.

Keeping Track

New software that can trace the individual paths of every animal in a massive swarm could help biologists unravel the secrets of collective behavior.

Predator Demoted

Extinct, giant arthropods, long assumed to be top predators of ancient seas, didn’t have sharp enough eyesight to be refined hunters.

Critic at Large

Science Gone Social

Scientists are beginning to embrace social media as a viable means of communicating with public audiences.

Online First

The Ocular Microbiome

Researchers are beginning to study in depth the largely uncharted territory of the eye’s microbial composition.

Modus Operandi

Retina Recordings

Scientists adapt an in vivo retina recorder for ex vivo use.

The Literature

Guiding Light

Retinal glial cells acting as optical fibers shuttle longer wavelengths of light to individual cones.

Cone Cell Correctors

In mice, adult cone cell outer segments and their visual functions deteriorate if two microRNAs are not present.

Sound and Light Show

Sounds trigger a response in the visual cortex that predicts how accurately a person can identify a visual target.


An Eye for Detail

Vision researcher John Dowling has spent a lifetime studying the neural architecture of the retina. He is closing his laboratory after 53 years, opting to extend these studies as a postdoc.

Scientist to Watch

Joeanna Arthur: Charting a Path

Project Scientist, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Age: 32

Lab Tools

Capturing Complexes

Techniques for analyzing RNA-protein interactions

Nuclear Cartography

Techniques for mapping chromosome conformation

Bio Business

Eyes on the Prize

A handful of stem cell therapeutics for vision disorders are showing promise in early-stage trials, and still more are in development. But there’s a long road to travel before patients see real benefit.  

Reading Frames

Sleep Tight

Bed bugs are but one example of a species whose populations have evolved in response to human behavior.


A Visionary’s Poor Vision, 1685

William Briggs’s theory of optic nerve architecture was unusual and incorrect, but years later it led to Isaac Newton’s explanation of binocular vision.

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