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Dr. Ruggiero Speaks to Fourth Grade Students About Vision

photoDr. Ruggiero was recently invited to speak to a class of fourth grade students at the Smith College Campus School about eye anatomy and vision. The presentation was part of the classroom’s study of the human body.

Before the presentation began, Dr. Ruggiero gave the class a mini visual quiz that consisted of the following three questions:

  •  What percentage of babies have 20/20 eyesight at birth? The answer: 0%
  • What percentage of all incoming sensory information to the brain is visual? The answer: 70%
  • The auditory (hearing) nerve has 30 thousand axons (incoming sensory fibers). How many axons does the optic (seeing) nerve have? The answer: 1 million!

Dr. Ruggiero spoke at length about how vision is a brain process, teaching the students about how we take in, process and use visual information. “One of the key messages of the talk was that good vision is not just about having 20/20 eyesight,” she said.

To prove this point, Dr. Ruggiero included a few demonstrations that challenged some basic misconceptions about vision – including one that showed how our brains rely so much on incoming visual input, that under certain circumstances, our brains will even let us perceive that we have a hole in our hand!

Students also had an opportunity to participate in a virtual dissection of an eyeball to learn about the different anatomical components that are involved in sight.

The children asked great questions and were very enthusiastic learners. A lot of fun was had by all!

Hole in the hand

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