We take it for granted that vision is just a passive registering of objects in the external world; that the outside world is somehow projected directly into our mind. However, modern visual neuroscience indicates quite the opposite. It is now clear that the eye and visual parts of the brain work together as a complex yet highly organised system that actively constructs an image of the external world. Reality is not what it seems! This short course will outline some of the cognitive and neural mechanisms in the process from detection of light by the eye to our ability to perceive and recognise objects, colour and complex scenes in the outside world.