This paper presents a two-stage model of the Human Visual System (HVS) comprised of a low-level (analysis) and a high-level (synthesis) processing stages. The processing done at the low-level stage is described using two approaches: one based on a subspace decomposition and the othei on a midtirate filter bank. These two models simultaneously provide the high-level processing stage with different perspectives or representations of the retinal image. Based on these representations, the high-level processing stage attempts to perceive the encoded visual information. A single framework, which models the hypercolumn-based structure in the striate cortex and combines the different retinal image representations, is proposed. The described model resolves differences among previously proposed HVS models, and suggests the development of image processing algorithms which combine and exploit the information provided by different transformations or representations of the input image.