We, human beings, consider the norm to be "reality". However with the knowledge that the brain makes up alot of what we think we see, the concept of reality changes. It opens doors to questions about "reality" and just how reality differs from person to person. This I can accept, the part of how the eye works that confuses me is that the signals fromteh ganglion cells are more or less the same signal except for the edge of where white and dark meets. So, our perception of an object before us are different light intensities affecting our retina. If this is so, than at night, when our eyes are closed, where are the pictures we see in our dreams coming from? We "see" in our dreams. This is not part of an I-function, most often in dreams we are not "aware" of our dreaming. Where are the different intensities coming from that form the images in our dreams? And if what we see is our reality would that not mean that our dreams are reality as well. The functioning of the eye and lateral inhibition are all very useful and I understand how they affect our input-sensory side however there is alot of unanswered phenomenon.
Yes, indeed, some interesting questions about what is meant by "reality". And yes, what the retina tells the rest of the nervous system is mostly (though not entirely) about the edges, with the rest being filled in by other neurons. Which is to say, being "made up". Does that help in thinking about dreams. I think so (though we'll talk more about them in the course in a bit). Basically, it says that things "made up" are actually not so surprising. So dreams are not so surprising, and are (presumably) simply patterns of action potentials like "seeing" is. And I'll argue with you a bit about whether they aren't perhaps a function of the "I-function". One certainly isn't conscious in the sense of responding to the outside world when one is dreaming, but one is, in some sense, THERE. PG