Depth Perception

By Caleb Burch

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a two dimensional world?  I don’t think it’s a reality that very many of us would choose to have.  Believe it or not, this is a medical condition that actually affects 4% – 10% of the population.  According to a man named Bruce Bridgeman, a 67 year-old neuroscientist at UC Santa Cruz that was born with the condition, “When we’d go out and people would look up and start discussing some bird in the tree, I would still be looking for the bird when they were finished.”  According to an article posted on about Bridgeman, in his case it was because “He was left with a condition called alternating exotropic strabismus, often called “lazy eye”, in which both eyes independently have a tendency to drift outward. He could aim each eye individually at a scene, and swap back and forth between them, but he could never get both eyes to fix on a single point, and he couldn’t look through both eyes at once.  So throughout his life he saw the world as a collection of flat panels.”  However, his whole view of the world was changed on February 16, when he went with his wife to see a 3D movie.  According to the article “Almost as soon as he began to watch the film, the characters leapt from the screen in a way he had never experienced. “It was just literally like a whole new dimension of sight. Exciting,” says Bridgeman.  What’s even more amazing than the fact that he was able to perceive depth for the first time, is that he has been able to do it ever since that day.  We hear people say all the time that a specific movie has changed their life, but in the case of Bruce Bridgeman, it actually did.


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