Research into Human Visual Perception during 1800s
Thomas Young (1773-1829) published a theory of colour vision in 1802.
Depth perception was a recognised, and understood, phenomenon by the
1830s, the stereoscope being invented in about 1832.
Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) investigated the external
eye muscles and the mechanism by which the eye muscles focus the lens.
He was also
interested in colour blindness and extended Young’s theory, which
is now known as the Young-Helmholtz theory of colour vision. This was
first developed in 1909-1911, and was translated into English in 1924-1925.
Helmholtz’s three volume publication Handbuch der Physiologischen
Optik (Physiological Optics) is still considered to have been a highly
influential work. This was completed in 1866, and translated into English
sixty years later.
Lord Rayleigh (1842-1919) contributed to the
understanding of colour blindness (c.1881).
Investigations into the significance of the shape of the object viewed
by an observer were documented later, and lead to the founding of the
School of Psychology.