Optic chiasm

The optic chiasm is the part of the human brain where the optic nerves partially cross. The optic chiasm is located at the bottom of the brain immediately below the hypothalamus.

  • The cross-over of optic nerve fibres at the optic chiasm allows the visual cortex to receive the same hemispheric visual field from both eyes.
  • Superimposing and processing these monocular visual signals allow the visual cortex to generate binocular and stereoscopic vision.
  • For example, the right visual cortex receives the temporal visual field of the left eye, and the nasal visual field of the right eye, which results in the right visual cortex producing a binocular image of the left hemispheric visual field. The net result of optic nerves crossing over at the optic chiasm is for the right cerebral hemisphere to sense and process left hemispheric vision, and for the left cerebral hemisphere to sense and process right hemispheric vision.