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

Some are color blind. I am stereo blind.

Learning to like “the hard way”

with 3 comments

My brain did it again: created a work-around in a heartbeat, defeating the entire purpose of the new exercise I did today during my office visit. I got to the bottom of the page and confessed “I’m cheating, you know…”

Moral judgments aside, the “cheat” was simply a short cut to bypass the complex mental process the exercise was demanding. Instead of looking at the symbol and doing the opposite action of what the symbol represented as asked, forcing my brain to create new processing pathways, I reinterpreted the symbol and simply did what MY new pet symbol said to do.

Here is the SUNY exercise, where the circle to the right or left of the line symbolizes which hand to tap the table with, and the circle over the line symbolizes a table tap with both hands.

This was pretty straightforward, until I was asked to look at the symbols and do the opposite. Very quickly, I learned to look at the space instead of the circle, and tap to empty spaces. Much much easier! (Give my creativity a high-five!)

I did the same thing on the balance board with directional arrows. When the task of doing the opposite was given, I simply assigned the meaning of the arrowheads to the arrow tails. How could I not?

I’ve done this sort of thing my entire life. I am gifted at Gestalt, that ability to see with an alternate way of seeing in order to solve problems. Gestalt works great for graphic design, and my clients love me and pay me good money for my Gestalt genius. “You’re so-o creative!” they say in awed tones.

Why make my brain work doing it the hard way? Because, if I don’t do what my genius Gestalt brain interprets as “the hard way”, the whole purpose of the vision therapy exercise is bypassed and whole sections of my brain remain dormant.

I can’t wrap my brain around this … seriously! I only have this vague sense that I am missing something in all my short cutting, something valuable, like the ability to do many things quickly without freaking out. I am in awe of anyone who is fast and ACCURATE at doing more than one thing at a time. That is so out of my league!

Wouldn’t that be something if I could multitask and be fast and accurate? Why, I could fix dinner AND carry on a friendly conversation for starters! I could drive AND listen to the radio …

I could even learn to use both my eyes at the same time. Wouldn’t that be something?

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Written by Lynda Rimke

February 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm

3 Responses

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  1. oh Lynda… You are too smart for your own eyes! but that means you *are* smart enough to wrap your brain around this. :)

    Sally

    February 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    • I have a feeling most stereo-blind folks are masters at gestalt: making whole ideas out of puzzle pieces. Our brains do this to “see” depth with myriads of pieces of monocular information every waking moment.

      Since my brain reinterpreted the opposite exercise by supplanting new symbols, I just don’t bother to try the complicated process of seeing one way and acting the opposite. It’s pointless. My brain has already bypassed that for good.

      My challenge to vision therapists: find something my brain can’t bypass …

      Lynda Rimke

      February 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm

  2. […] a e-z to navigate, attractive blog.  Her blog is also comprehensive, because in addition to her personal stories and pop culture examples she offers her notes on Frederick Brock’s work and examples of […]


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