1. What are the muscles surrounding the eye and what movement does each muscle create?
2. What part of the eye are the muscles attached to?
A. Overview of the Eye
Go to the Views menu, select Microanatomy, and choose 1. Eye.
You are responsible for the identification of all bold terms and answers.
Medial rectus muscle
Nasolacrimal duct
Superior oblique muscle
Superior rectus muscle
Lateral rectus muscle
Inferior oblique muscle
Inferior rectus muscle
Lacrimal gland
3. Locate the lacrimal gland. Note that the lacrimal gland, which creates tears, is located opposite to
the nasolacrimal duct.
a. What is the function of each of the above structures and how does their positioning aid that
b. What are tears made of? Why is the composition of tears important to the eye?
4. Locate the cornea. Notice that it is transparent, which allows light to pass easily through it.
However, the cornea’s transparency comes at a cost: the cornea cannot have blood vessels in it, which
makes it harder for it to heal when it is torn.
5. Hide the cornea and locate the iris. Select the book icon for more information.
a. What substance in the iris determines eye color?
b. The iris separates the eye into a(n) ________________________________ and a(n)
B. Exploring the Lens and Pupil
Go to the Views menu, select Microanatomy, and choose 3. Lens and Zonular Fibers.
Pupillary dilator muscle
Ciliary muscles
Ciliary processes
Zonular fibers
1. Hide the cornea.
2. Hide the iris.
3. The muscle you are looking at is the pupillary dilator. What is its function?
4. How does the pupillary dilator’s function differ from that of the pupillary sphincter?
5. Hide the pupillary dilator, the pupillary sphincter, and the pupil and look at the lens.
a. How is the shape of the lens similar to the shape of the cornea (which you saw before)?
b. Locate the ciliary muscles. How are they attached to the lens?
c. What happens to the lens when the ciliary muscles contract?
A. Anatomy and Function of the Eye
1. How does the lens work?
List of supplies:
Quart-size zip-top bag
Measuring cups
Newspaper or other paper with small print on it
a. Pour 1 cup of water in quart-size zip-top bag.
b. Squeeze the excess air out of the bag.
c. Place the bag above a piece of paper that has small print on it (such as a newspaper).
d. Flatten the bag and examine the writing.
e. Squeeze the bag, so the water takes on a ball shape. Hold the bag near the writing. Notice
how the print seems larger than it was before?
Optic disc
Fovea centralis
i. This is how the lens of your eye works. Its shape changes to bend rays of light
appropriately, so they converge on your retina. Objects at different distances need different
amounts of bending of their light rays. If the eye is unable to focus images on the retina,
corrective lenses are needed.
f. Locate the retina in the app. The retina contains photoreceptors called rods and cones.
i. What do rods and cones do?
ii. How do rods and cones differ?
iii. What is the relative abundance of rods and cones?
g. Locate the fovea centralis in the app. What differentiates this part of the retina from the rest
of the retina?
h. Locate the choroid in the app. Note its dark appearance. What causes the choroid’s dark color,
and why is its color important to its function?
2. How does peripheral vision work?
List of supplies:
2 pieces of paper
Pen or pencil
a. Write a note on a piece of paper (in regular sized print) and hold it 10 inches in front of a
partner. Have your partner read the note out loud.
b. Can your partner read the note clearly?
c. Write a different note (on a new piece of paper) and do not tell your partner what it says. Hold
it 10 inches from the side of your partners face (so it is in the peripheral visual field). Have your
partner continue to stare forward and try to read it.
d. Can your partner read the note?
e. Knowing what you know about the retina and its photoreceptors, why do you think your
partner can’t read your note?
f. Locate the optic disc in the app. Are there rods and cones present in the optic disc?
3. How does the blind spot work?
List of supplies:
Piece of paper
Pen or pencil
a. To find your blind spot, take a piece of paper and draw a small X on the right side.
b. Take your ruler and measure about 5 inches to the left of the X.
c. Draw a dot there, about the size of a penny.
d. Hold the paper in front of you and close your right eye. Look at the X. Even though you’re
looking at the X, you should be able to see the dot out of the corner of your eye.
e. Slowly move the paper farther in front of you. Try moving it left and right, or closer and farther
away. Remember to keep looking at the X. At a certain point, the dot will seem to disappear out
of the corner of your eye.
f. Why does the dot seem to disappear?
4. Creating a model eye
List of supplies:
3 small paper cups
Wax paper
Pin for poking holes in cups
Black marker or black construction paper
a. Cut the bottom out of one of the paper cups and attach the wax paper to it to create a new
bottom. Keep the wax paper as smooth as possible. The wax paper will simulate the retina.
b. Take your second cup and use a pin to poke a small hole in the center of the bottom of the
cup. This hole is the pupil.
c. Place the wax paper cup inside the cup with the small hole in the bottom.
d. Go to a bright window and adjust the spacing between the two cups. You should be able to
see an image on the wax paper, but it will not be quite clear.
e. Take your third paper cup and use a black marker to color the inside, or line it with black
construction paper. This dark lining simulates the choroid. Poke a small hole in the bottom of this
cup (going through the black construction paper as well as the cup, if you’re using construction
paper). Look out the same window as before with this cup on the outside of your wax paper cup.
f. How does the black cup affect image clarity?
g. What does the choroid do to help your eye see more clearly?
h. Now, for one last experiment, make the hole in the bottom cup larger. This simulates the pupil
dilating. What happens to the clarity and brightness of your image?
i. What is the purpose of the pupil dilating in low light and constricting in high light?
B. Anatomy and Function of the Optic Chiasm
Go to the Views menu, select Regional System Views, and choose 1. Head and Neck.
You are responsible for the identification of all bold terms and answers.
1. Hide the following structures:
a. Muscles
b. Vessels
c. Lymphatic system
d. Frontal bone
e. Dura mater
f. Frontal lobe of the brain
g. Falx cerebri
h. Sphenoid
Right optic nerve
Optic chiasm
Left optic nerve
2. Zoom in and find the optic nerves. Notice how they both join to the same structure. That structure
is called the optic chiasm. What happens to the neural tracts at this point? (Use the book icon to help
you with this answer.)
3. Convergence
a. You combine information from both of your eyes to create your picture of the visual world. This
combination relies, in part, on the ability of your eyes to focus on the same object. Hold your
hand with an outstretched finger in front of your nose. Now bring your hand toward your nose
b. What do you feel your eyes doing as you perform this task?
c. If you go past a certain point, your eyes can no longer physically converge. What happens to
the appearance of your finger when this occurs?
4. The function of the optic chiasm
a. Close your left eye and move your right arm as far to the right as it can go while still being
visible out of the corner of your right eye. Hold it there.
b. Now, move your left arm inward until you can see it out of the corner of your right eye.
c. The position of your two arms represents the visual field of your right eye. Notice that it is
large and overlaps part of the visual field of your left eye. The overlapping of visual fields helps
you with depth perception.
d. Which region has the most overlap between the eyes?
1. When a photon enters the eye, what are the structures it passes on its way to being a fully processed
neural signal in the visual cortex of the occipital lobe on the brain? Fill in the blanks in the diagram
above and in the paragraph below.
The photon enters through the __________________________ of the eye. It passes the
__________________________, which gives the eye its color, on its way through the __________________________,
a hole created by the __________________________, which can dilate or constrict to adjust for ambient
lighting. It then passes through the __________________________, which focuses the light onto the
__________________________. The retina’s photoreceptors for dim light are called __________________________,
and its photoreceptors for color are called __________________________. A special layer called the
__________________________ prevents stray photons from activating more receptors. This information is
transduced into a neural signal that travels via the __________________________ nerve. Information from
each eye is divided at the __________________________ chiasm into a subset that travels to the contralateral
visual cortex and another subset that travels to the ipsilateral visual cortex.
Source: Microanatomy Views: View 1: Eye
Source: Microanatomy Views: View 3: Lens and Zonular Fibers
Source: Microanatomy Views: View 2: Anatomy and Function of the Eye
Source: Regional System Views: View 1: Head and Neck
Source: Microanatomy Views: View 2: Anatomy and Function of the Eye