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

Some are color blind. I am stereo blind.

Small Breakthroughs

with 4 comments

I had my 8th vision therapy session and it rocked! I got to take home my very own Brock string to play with, and I’ve ordered my very own red-green (analglyphic) glasses and a sliding board with red-green films because (drum roll please) I got the squares and circles to show up like soldiers, AND the inner circle to float. Yeah, baby! I had to buy those two pieces of sliding plastic as a reward system, if nothing else! (I’ll get it’s name when I pick it up from the office.) Float? … for me, perceiving anything as floating is simply astounding!

An 8 year old focuses on the colored beads of the "Brock String" (which she should have placed on her nose, btw!) Lianne Milton/Napa Valley Register photos

And I finally got to play with the Brock string … THE string that I couldn’t make out when I was 20, and was given a thumbs down for vision therapy as a result. THE string that Sue Barry used to gain 3D seeing (excellent youtube video here) after only 3 weeks of 20 minute sessions. THE string I’ve made two home-made versions of, in failed attempts to rediscover that elusive fusional area we found with the Worth Four Dot Test back in December.

Perseverance has it’s rewards. I even found this neat youtube Brock string instructional video courtesy of Dr. Dominick M. Maino’s post on sovoto.com (They used two strings, but it is a close enough depiction of what the two eyes should see.)

During this therapy session, I was getting the X to flicker in and out when the bead was in my fusional area, about 4″ from my nose. As usual, I could not hold on to that X.

Then my therapist had me try it with the balance board … and the X held … easily! This is because balancing on the board involves both halves of my brain firing to all the muscles on both sides of my body to maintain balance. Somehow, while all that is going on, it opens up my brain to use both eyes at the same time (or perhaps it leaves little brain power left for the complex process of suppressing.) Balancing really worked for me! I even saw, and continued to see, the X a second time with red-green glasses, where one string was red and the other green.

As I stepped off the board and pulled off the Christmas glasses, my therapist held a pen in front of my face and asked me to look at it. “What do you see?” she asked and waited. “I see two of you!” was my reply. “Good!” was her enthusiastic answer. I could not look at her nose and get two pens, but I did accomplish the easier variation of a physiological dyplopia exercise when I saw two therapists. I now have this new exercise, and find myself trying it a couple of times a day with whatever is at hand. (A version of this exercise can be found at vision3d.com)

cando economy balance board

All this new fun after having a blast with my new balance board last week, which I ordered from overstock.com. Nothing like reading a Hart Chart while maintaining equilibrium. My eyes are learning precise control while my body is finding it’s very own center of gravity and aligning itself without my thinking about it.

How novel! How normal! Balancing is a great way to straighten out my head and neck, which is constantly turned to the left in order to view the world with my right eye better.

Vision Therapy is definitely getting more interesting than simply SUNY, the exercise my brain out-smarted.


4 Responses

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  1. YAY!! As someone who has never seen or understood the concept of “float,” I’m SOOOO excited for you! Proof that persistence pays off!

    You mentioned that you saw two therapists … does that mean that you’re having intermittent double vision? Is that a good thing?!? Does that mean that both of your eyes are working … you’re not suppressing an eye?

    Thanks for the encouraging progress, Lynda … I’m going to call and make my first VT appointment on Monday! :)


    February 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    • Traci, the “double therapist” was a good thing. It’s called physiological diplopia, and I am also doing it at home as an exercise. Click the vision3d.com link I’ve embedded in the post for a test you can do. It’s not dangerous. In fact, the Brock string is also relying on physiological diplopia as feedback for when both eyes are “on” … that’s why there are two strings making an X. Click on Sue Barry’s link about her Brock exercise experience. She does a wonderful job explaining it about mid-way through the clip and into the second clip, and then shares all her inspiring 3D experiences too.

      Can’t wait to hear about your first appointment!

      Lynda Rimke

      February 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm

  2. Congrats! I’m glad that you are having success at turning both eyes on!

    It’s so interesting that certain physical activities can suddenly turn both eyes on, like you did on the balance board. I’ve read about similar ways of doing that, like having the vision therapist press down on one of your shoulders. I’ve also heard that hanging from your hands (like on a chin up bar) can straighten your eyes too.

    Like you, I find the one finger, two therapists type of diplopia is much easier than the other type. I really suppress when trying to get one therapist, two fingers. It’s hard to do!


    February 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    • I’m still pretty jazzed, Josh. I Brocked today and still held that X, and got to widen my fusional area a tad, from 4 to almost 8″ … also worked at getting the near bead, and the middle bead and almost had it! All while balancing. Glad the balance board is working for me, as I don’t see myself hanging from monkey bars any time soon. :-0

      I also got the diplopia exercise to work both ways yesterday. That time it was easier to get two near fingers than to get two nightlights on the wall (it was during the day so the nightlight was not shining.)

      Lynda Rimke

      February 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm

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