Stereo Sue Barry and What the Brain Tells the Eye

Sue Barry
From her Biography on Psychology Today:
Susan R. Barry, Ph.D., is a professor of neurobiology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Mount Holyoke College. She had been cross-eyed and stereoblind since early infancy but learned to see in three dimensions at age forty-eight by retraining her visual system with optometric vision therapy.

Sometimes called Stereo Sue, she shares her story on her blog and through her book Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist’s Journey Into Seeing in Three Dimensions. In this book she challenges the conventional wisdom that the brain is permanently wired for basic perceptual skills during a “critical period” in early childhood and offers instead a revelatory account of the brain’s capacity for change.

fixing my gaze book

On her blog for Psychology Today, Sue talks about the what the brain tells the eye.

“Before we make any voluntary movement, a great deal of planning, which is largely unconscious, takes place in our brain.

The same is true for perception.

What we see depends to a large extent upon what we anticipate seeing. The first area of our visual cortex to receive input from our eyes is called the primary visual cortex. It was once thought that neurons in this area respond almost exclusively to stimuli coming from the eyes. But we now know that the activity of these neurons is affected by “higher” brain centers which are involved in prediction and planning. When the brain can predict what will be seen, it can prime the appropriate circuits in the primary visual cortex and other regions, allowing us to interpret visual stimuli more quickly.”

Sue Barry eye

Read more on her blog, and contact us at Birmingham Vision Therapy to set up a comprehensive eye exam or to schedule a vision therapy appointment.

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