Wide-eyed Wonder: an artist's musings on three-dimensional vision

Some are color blind. I am stereo blind.

Childlike wonder

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“’Curiouser and curiouser!’ Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).”

The first time I got my eyes to see something new, I literally inhaled “HUH?!” in shock and … fear! Then thought, “Oh dear! I have just rewarded my accomplishment with negative brain chemicals. Quick— think happy, Lynda!”

Susan Barry writes in her Psychology Today blog, “Eyes on the Brain”

Novel and rewarding experiences not only encourage people to work harder at their therapy but also have direct effects on brain wiring. When a person experiences something new and gratifying, neurons in the brainstem and basal forebrain are activated and liberate powerful neuromodulators onto circuits in the cerebral cortex. These neuromodulators, including dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine, trigger the changes in neuronal connections that underlie new perceptual experiences and learning.

Alice has become a role model, although I never liked her adventures as a child. To be honest, I was mostly terrified by the thought of growing too big and getting wedged in a house!

Alice in Rabbit's house

And I never wanted to be a giraffe. But Alice simply and cheerily says “Goodbye feet!” as her neck grows up and away, because she is enjoying how everything is “Curiouser and curiouser!”

Bring on the childlike wonder! Bring on the dopamine!

Now that I have worn the center-occluded glasses for a week, I take in the whole world with heightened peripheral awareness. Even without the glasses, going up the stairwell at Summit Artspace now reminds me of a Halo game, with the handrails and walls slipping by and out of view. Driving home reminded me Gran Turismo, as the road signs and guardrails flew by (but at a mere 60mph!).

It’s another novelty, this expanded reality. I have much to be thankful for. I am enjoying these Wonderland moments.


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