Monday, January 12, 2009

Size constancy and depth perception

As the article Visual Illusions by Richard Gregory points out the problems of size constancy obviously provide a huge challenge when the observer is in motion. If the an object like this Charlie Chaplin mask can create this type of illusion while the observer is standing still how much more will these types of illusions (and really they are visual mistakes) occur when the movement can only shorten the ability of the individual to give adequate attention to the object to make a proper judgement about depth. As the article points out this could have disastrous affects on air travel (landing), driving cars (negotiating parking space), or what about fighter pilots – yikes. But what I wonder is if there are physiological characteristics (either in the eye or the visual cortex) that can compensate for these illusions/mistakes?

PS: There must be dysfunctions of the brain or eye that impair normal depth perception and if so why do we not develop standardized tests that could prevent people with depth impariment from - oh lets say operating a motor vehicle...

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