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

Some are color blind. I am stereo blind.

– The Notes of Frederick W. Brock

with 6 comments

Lynda’s quotes from “Lecture Notes on Strabismus” by Frederick W. Brock

Concessions occur when there is a lack of demand for all existing abilities … Visual training if it is properly applied, makes a demand for all existing abilities. p1

… while the eyes are in a strabismic posture, the individual thinks strabismically, but the minute his eyes are in a normal posture he ceases to think strabismically and thinks the way we do. The shift from strabismic to normal posture brings about a complete change in his interpretation. This means that when he looks at a small target with both eyes directly, he cannot think strabismically; he must think the way we do. However, the shift from strabismic to normal posture cannot be accomplished without a change from wanting to look at a given fixation object with one eye only to wanting to look at it with both eyes simultaneously.

Binocular interpretation does not have to be taught! We don’t have to break down anomalous retinal correspondence in order to establish normal retinal correspondence. Our sole purpose in visual training is to posture an individual adequately, and when that has been accomplished the rest comes easy. p1-2

Binocular posture is the ability to maintain such relative eye positions in anticipation of a certain visual task that both eyes directly fixate a single object of special regard: Binocular posture means, essentially, looking at a single fixation object with both eyes at the same time.

Not all individuals who are adjusted to their natural environment depend on binocular posture. There are two other forms of posture around which an individual may successfully organize his seeing: (a) maintaining posture with one eye only, or monocular posture,(b) maintaining separate lines of direct gaze for each eye, or strabismic posture.

Maintaining monocular posture, means that only one eye fixates the object of special attention. The eye that looks at the object of regard is the eye that is used for the cortical interpretation of that object. The other eye is not used for that purpose. The other eye may,be looking in an entirely different direction. This ‘eye may have, at the moment, a perceptual purpose or it may not. The question now arises, is it used for any other purpose? If it has no other purpose, is kept in “cold storage” so to speak, we have monocular posture, for what the other eye is doing at the moment is of no interest to the organism.

Maintaining separate lines of direct gaze for each eye, or strabismic posture. In the sense defined here, it does not include all strabismics but is limited to those who are ambiocular in their visual behavior.. The term “ambiocular” describes a condition where both eyes are used for separate and distinct purposes. That is, they attend to different functions at the sanE time. We find this posture in “anomalous projection” of alterating strabismics.

My investigations into nature of ambiocular vision have definitely proved that these strabismics can look in two directions at once and interpret the macular images of both eyes simultaneously. p2

If you play the piano with one hand, it does not prevent you from playing some other chord with the other. If you cannot coordinate both hands in this way, you may concentrate your whole attention on the one task of the same tune with both hands. It takes more skill to play different measures with each hand than to play the same tune with both hands. The former ability illustrates the ambiocular strabismic, while the second exemplifies normal binocular vision, and playing the piano with one hand corresponds to uniocular posture.

You may write “cat” with the right hand while writing cat mirror-fashion with the left hand. This is easier of accomplishment than writing the word cat with both hands in a left to right direction. The latter requires an entirely different posturing mechanism for the left hand than for the right, while the former may be done with a single posturing effort for both hands. This may serve as a simile to show why binocular posturing is cortically less difficult and requires less mental effort than strabismic posturing … In my own investigations I have never encountered a strongly integrated ambiocular percept (alternating strabismus) in very young children or in individuals of low intelligence. All evidence points to the fact that strabismic posture is much harder to learn than binocular posture and that its acquisition denotes a high achievement level, visually speaking. For the same reason, once this posturing ability has been attained, the individual is not readily willing to give it up in exchange for binocular posture, unless the latter heightens his accuracy of spatial orientation for exceptionally demanding tasks with which he is being confronted and which cannot be solved while maintaining strabismic posture.”

Brock continues “It used to be my ‘implicit belief that we had to ‘break down’ anomalous projection prior to making any attempt to ‘building up’ normal projection. This seems no longer justifiable because, strictly speaking, you cannot ‘break down’ learned concepts. You may suppress them by presenting the individual with new and different demands which require new learning. If such learning is directed toward our eventual goal, the undesirable (from our point of view) patterns may gradually be replaced bv the more desirable patterns and may eventually disappear from consciousness because of disuse.

Since stereoscopic demands require binocular posture, such demands may serve as a ‘special task’ in an attempt to elicit binocular posture with the strabismic.” pp3-4

pp1-4 “Lecture Notes on Strabismus” by Frederick W. Brock
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Written by Lynda Rimke

April 1, 2011 at 7:50 am

6 Responses

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  1. […] 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 visual cues that convey depth, the only way we strabbies see 3D.  I admire […]

  2. Hi Lynda, I struggle to understand what a “binocular posture” is and where what Brock calls the “point of attach” should be.
    In my case, having peripheral stereopsis (at least some, I’ve checking with our 3D TV for the past few nights), should the point of attach be large stereo pictures that activate my feeling for stereopsis and guide my eyes towards achieving more central fusion?
    I’ve asked more or less the same question on sovoto.com: http://www.sovoto.com/forum/topics/what-is-binocular-posture-and-how-to-achieve-it?xg_source=activity

    ZiglioNZ (@ZiglioNZ)

    January 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    • (I’m reposting this without the link)

      Hi Lynda, I struggle to understand what a “binocular posture” is and where what Brock calls the “point of attach” should be.
      In my case, having peripheral stereopsis (at least some, I’ve checking with our 3D TV for the past few nights), should the point of attach be large stereo pictures that activate my feeling for stereopsis and guide my eyes towards achieving more central fusion?
      I’ve asked more or less the same question on sovoto.com…

      ZiglioNZ (@ZiglioNZ)

      January 22, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    • Hi Ziglio, thanks for reading and commenting. I’ve basically put Brock out there to motivate myself to read and understand his ideas. Like you, I’m getting a sense of “posture” in that it means the eyes are in alignment, just like one’s hips, back and shoulders would be in correct body posture. However, I’m not remembering “point of attach” and can’t find it in the blog post. If you’ve downloaded the entire pdf from my link, could you refer to a page number where I can read about “point of attach”? I’d love to share my impressions. All best, Lynda

      Lynda Rimke

      January 23, 2013 at 10:32 am

  3. sorry about the spelling error, of course ;-)

    ZiglioNZ (@ZiglioNZ)

    January 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm


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