Seeing With The Brain.


Common sense tells us that we see with our eyes. Afterall, when we close our eyes we stop seeing. Right?

Well, when you think for a minute you realize that’s not true. There is this thing called the mind’s eye and dreaming and envisioning, etc. Truth is, the eyes are little more than data acquisition devices that feed the brain with information. Actually, to be more precise; the eyes stream flawed data to the brain with tons of errors and giant missing pieces of data.

The amount of processing the brain performs to make vision possible is staggering. Scientists have written that up to 1/4 of the entire brain is involved in vision processing and interpretation. How we see and what we see is influenced by everything we have seen before. It is also influenced by what we hear, what we smell, what we taste and what we touch. Don’t believe it? Well, science proves it. One example, off the top of my head, was demonstrated at an audio engineering society convention in New York City many years ago. There were rooms with different resolution video monitors and different speaker systems. As it turned out, the room deemed to have the highest video quality was not the one with the best video monitor, but the one with the best sound system.

Much of the time what we think we see really doesn’t match with reality. Much of what we see doesn’t even make it out of our subconscious. So, when 3D cinematographers obsess over camera spacing (inter-axial distance) and convergence and depth of field as it relates to eye geometry, they are misguided in my humble opinion. The brain is not limited to the geometry of the eye, or it’s limitations. If it was, we would have two big black circles where the eye has no receptors (where the optic nerve is connected).

Indeed, how we see and what we see varies greatly from person to person. Then, there are people with eye problems and vision impariment. People that can’t fuse and have double vision.  Who’s to say that in a room filled with 99 people who have strabismus and one person who can see with stereopsis that the people with strabismus wouldn’t be “normal” given that they represented the majority?

How the majority of people see is the result of evolution and natural selection. Human vision is not the best of what nature can create. There are examples of eyes that are superior to human eyes in terms of clarity, detail, color, focus, etc. In the near future, there will be machine to biological connections that might enhance or even replace our eyes with superior devices.

My point to this rambling is that it is a mistake to limit the way multi perspective imagery is created to analytics based solely on eye geometry and how the eyes work. As I begin my research into analyzing the brain and how it responds to multi perspective imagery, I hope that there are discoveries that enlighten and enrich our perception of the space between things and the importance of textures and reflective properties to the interpretation of the world around us.

There is more to it than this:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/9708.htm

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2 Comments

Filed under 3D, Perception Conflicts, stereopsis, stereovision, strabismus

2 responses to “Seeing With The Brain.

  1. Wonderful website you have here but I was wondering if you
    knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics talked
    about in this article? I’d really love to

    be a part of group where I can get feed-back from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any

    recommendations, please let me know. Thank you!

    • No particular recommendations. There are a lot of blogs out there discussing the brain in general. If you come across something of particular interest, let me know and I’ll check it out. I can say that I’ve read a lot of bunk that I don’t particularly agree with. My general reaction is that we have a very long way to go with regards to learning about what the brain is up to with regards to vision processing and image interpretation. Not to diminish some of the great works and areas of study out there, it is just that the scope of study into this topic is probably larger than anything ever attempted in the history of mankind. That’s because it isn’t so much about the mechanics of how we see, it is about seeing in general. We see things we don’t see and don’t see things we do see. We see with and without our eyes. Our mind’s eye is as vast as the universe while at the same time looking into the tiniest particles quantum physics has uncovered. That we see and understand time and space subconsciously… pretty deep stuff. Too big for me to comprehend – but I do try and learn as much as I can.

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