One Apple A Day #548 – stereopsis1 min read

I’ve been shortsighted my all life. I began wearing glasses when I was 6 years old, and I got rid of them only two years ago with laser surgery.
Maybe this is why I’ve always been fascinated by everything related to vision, the eyes and the way we see the world.
Humans are visual creatures. About 30 % of the neurons in our cortex are dedicated to processing visual information. That’s a lot compared to the 8 % devoted to the sense of touch or the tiny 3 % focused on hearing.

When I facilitate a workshop, I invite people to swap their places often. Sitting on a different chair gives a different perspective on what’s happening in the room. This is important to provide more substance to the reality we are experiencing, and it is one of the many lessons we can learn from our visual system.

We generally have two eyes located side-by-side in the front of our heads. Thanks to their close side-by-side positioning, each eye sees the same area from a slightly different angle (binocular vision). These two different images are then fused in our brain, creating the perception of depth and 3-dimensional structure of what we are seeing. This perception is called Stereopsis (from the Greek στερεο- stereo- meaning “solid”, and ὄψις opsis, “appearance, sight”).

Reality may seem flat from where you are. But if you merge your perspective with someone else’s (through an open and authentic conversation), you can add substance to it. And if you don’t have someone to conversate with, you can just move often to collect and fuse different perspectives.


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