The visual system is composed of specialized nerve fibers originating in the retina. They join to form the optic nerve (cranial nerve II) just behind the globe. The medial portions of the optic nerve cross over each other at the optic chiasm in front of the pituitary gland. As the nerve fibers travel posteriorly within the brain, they form the optic tracts terminating in the occipital lobe of the brain. By identifying visual field defect patterns, it is possible to determine an anatomical location of the source of visual loss.
The visual fields of normally-aligned eyes overlap. Each eye sees objects from a slightly different angle, and the brain fuses these views. This binocular vision allows us to perceive depth and spatial relationships.