Monday, December 30, 2013

Random thought about stereopsis and color vision

I had an exciting thought the other day when I was thinking about the different things that people talk about when they've gained stereopsis.

One of the things is what Heather said about how her perception of color had improved.  It makes sense why this would happen, because fusion would increase the resolution of all facets of vision--not just acuity.  After all, now all of a sudden, you're processing information from twice as many cone cells.

Then that made me think about myself when I was at MEPS (military entry processing station).  When I was 19 I had thought about going into the Air Force.  MEPS is where the military is able to put a dollar amount on how much you're worth to them.  You do urinalyses, they test your hearing, mental faculties, they test for physical abnormalities by stripping you to your underwear and having you walk like a duck in a room full of other men.

They also put you through a battery of vision tests.  I did alright, but I failed two tests: depth perception (obviously), and color vision.  I'm not color blind exactly, but instead, I have color deficiency.  It surprised me to learn this because I always thought that I saw colors vibrantly.  But apparently, according to this test I don't.

That is the type of color test that I did.  I would have failed at this particular test.  I do not see the hidden number or letter that's in it.  Is it a two, by chance?  No!  It's a three.  Right?  /facepalm

But I wonder if the reason I'm color deficient is because I'm only using half of my cone cells (cones, not rods are the cells that provide a sensitivity to color).  It'll be interesting to know whether my color perception is enhanced like Heathers to the degree that I'm able to pass the color test.  That's another question that I want answered!--and another answer that I expect to have answered soon.   The day can't come soon enough.

#197 session: feeling the burn

Things are going very well.  Seeing progress occur with such rapid speed, and yet knowing that I could still be months away from my goal makes me realize how much has to be done.

It is true that I'm still noticing significantly more information coming in every day.  It's something I look forward to.  It helps counteract the other part that says 'I just want this shit to be done!--why is this taking so long!'.

When I get to the movement light tube exercises after Columns, Bouncy, and saccades, I am now immediately at what I call 'approximate fusion'.  Approximate fusion is a state that I've identified where I can consider what I see as a single vision, but it's not perfect.  There is some ghosting.  When I pull myself out of the tube and look at an object across the room, it is double (but the double images are close to one another).  Just last week I would only be near approximate fusion near the end of the workout (about 60 minutes).  But now I launch into that state immediately when I begin the workout.  The rest of the 60 minutes is available for fine-tuning and perfecting my 'approximate fusion' so that it is can be called plain old 'fusion'.

The movement light tube exercise is a good workout.  I am recently brought back to the ideas presented in this blog entry:

http://vtwithsyntonics.blogspot.com/2013/11/thoughts-on-circular-movement-light.html
  • I fix with the normal eye as always, but then I pay special attention to the lazy-eye image. 
  • I try to make the scene as bright as possible. 
  • I pay attention to the way the muscles in the lazy eye feel and then I pay attention to the way that the feeling of the muscles relates to the movements of the lazy-eye image. I put as much focus as possible on that relationship.
By doing this, especially as of late, I am experiencing a burning or straining type of sensation on the lazy eye which is very similar to that what one would experience when lifting weights.  It feels good.  I feel it especially when I make these long, slow, stretching movements while focusing on the feeling of the muscles in the lazy eye and trying to control the lazy-eye image to prevent diplopia.  This is the kind of strain to follow.  

Then, as with building muscle in the traditional gym-sense, you get stronger during the periods of rest.  Except here, you're not building muscle tissue as much as you're building muscle control.  But actually, you're probably building muscle in the eye as well.  ├Łou don't really notice the effects of the exercise until a day or so later after the body's response mechanisms have had a time to make the appropriate adjustments.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

#192 session: nothing interesting to report, you can skip this entry

Make no mistake, progress is still occurring at a rapid clip, it's just that there's nothing interesting for me to say.

I'm still noticing a small amount of hypertropia on the left eye.  Also, if I relax and let me eyes do what they will, I get the same tendency for the left-eye image to go down and to the right.  But subjective experience is positive.  I am noticing more depth and objects appear to be more solid and in their own space.  Also, games in stereo are more stimulating.  I'm definitely seeing better than ever before at this moment.  I can say that just about every day lately, and each time I say it it's true.  So that's great.  What else...

The light tube.  That's looking pretty good.  There's a lot less unconscious movement, which is particularly good for when I type things.  That driftage problem I'd had for a long time is wayyy down.

I can feel myself intercepting a lot more information, especially when doing the light tube exercise.  I'm exhausted.  I've been sleeping a lot lately.  I'll take that as a positive indicator.  I wonder where I'll be in a week from now.

Friday, December 20, 2013

#187 session

I'm experiencing steady improvement.  Since I've begun doing tDCS it feels like I'm starting from scratch.  Before I made progress, but the progress seemed superficial.  Now I can feel the changes occurring in my brain.  It's a little disconcerting because my brain and mind are both changing and that has consequences on my concept of self-identification.  It's true that we're not the same person as we were years ago.  We're always changing.  It's just that tDCS has accelerated that change.  Regardless, they're all positive changes.

I've been giving myself a pretty big dose of tDCS--80 minutes at 2 mA per channel every day.  Every day I've been noticing more information coming in: more depth, and more information.  That's my relatively meaningless subjective data.

As far as objective--well, I've still been taking photos of my eyes roughly every three to four days.  I have tons of pictures of my eyes.  It'll be interesting to see how the changes correspond to what exercises and routines I've been doing.  My guess is that I'm going to see a sudden sharp fixing of the alignment around the time that I started tDCS.  That'll be some good science.

Another objective marker is how long it takes for me to get approximate fusion with the light tube movement exercises.  The experience goes something like this.  I'll start the exercise, and there will be some defusing, but as I continue the defusing goes down.  By the end of the exercise--40 to 60 minutes later--there's hardly any defusing.  Then the next day when I do the same thing, I'll experience something similar, except it takes less time to get to approximate fusion.  And also, the final state that I'm in when it's quitting time--that state of fusion becomes more rock solid than last time.

This is why I have been looking forward to the movement light tube exercise.  No matter how my day went I get to check in and visit on my progress.  The news is always positive.  When you see the objective improvement paired with subjective improvement, it gives a real psychological boost. It's nice.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Thoughts on the process of gaining stereopsis

There's a weird conflict in the way that I have historically thought about the process of gaining stereopsis.  There's the way that I am naturally inclined to think about gaining stereopsis, which is grabbing the eye and making it move properly sort of like how you would learn a mechanical skill involving the manipulation of an external object, like a bow, gun, or instrument.  Then there's the other way, which I think is the better way to think about gaining stereopsis, which is mentally occupying the eye and then letting the mind's control over the eye occur naturally.

Gaining stereopsis is really different from learning a skill which involves the manipulation of an external object because gaining stereopsis means recovering control of a primary sense organ which is at the very seat of our consciousness.  It's normal to think that the 'I' is something in between our functioning eyes, or in the case of strabismics, to think of the 'I' as something behind the fixing eye.  And it's because vision is the primary way we get around.   Our visual cortex is huge.  It occupies about 30% of the cerebral cortex's volume.  So whatever the visual cortex is doing, it's probably important and it's doing something that requires a lot of work.

The other day I was thinking about what it means to gain stereopsis, what's involved, and what's going on in the brain.  It's got to be a significant wiring overhaul.  Most likely recovering stereopsis means reclaiming neurons for the purpose of using both eyes and integrating their input.

The other day when I was driving, I took turns closing each of my eyes. Doing that made me realize that my visual field has significantly expanded.  When I closed an eye, I realized that I could see quite a bit, but it wasn't nearly as much as it was when I was using both.  It's as if my consciousness had expanded, and as if the observer was suddenly larger.  There's a lot more of me that's 'there'.  This must be related to what Heather said about seeing in stereo and how everything is much more real, and there.  And what Susan Barry said about how seeing in stereo made her feel like she was in the world instead of just occupying and observing it.  There's something fundamental to consciousness that's going on.

I wonder if visualizing the observer becoming bigger could accelerate vision therapy results, if I could visualize creating more space for the bigger observer.  It would have a correspondence with the idea that the process of gaining stereopsis involves claiming neurons and more neural 'real-estate' for new purposes.

#183 session: productive weekend

I took off a few days of work to tend to some personal things which involved me doing quite a bit of driving.  It was about two days of straight driving--12 hours per day.  I figured that would be a good opportunity to keep my eyes diverged and exercise pointing my eyes at things close nearby like the dashboard, and things far away, like the other vehicles and signs.

I did this with my tDCS device running, of course.  I did 20 minute sessions on each o1 and o2 region roughly every two hours.  Man it pumps you up.  It's sort of like taking amphetamines except it's legal.  The toll guy gave me a double take when he realized I had things strapped to my head with wires dangling down.  I giggled to myself like a schoolgirl.  

I got to the destination, took care of business, and came back.  I got a ton of VT and tDCS done over that time.  I also got pretty familiar with the secondary effects of tDCS--which if you combine it with moderate caffeine intake--you become really wired.  You can do quite a bit without experiencing any kind of fatigue.  But when it's time to sleep, man you sleep really well.

The primary exercise that I seem to look forward to is the light tube movement exercise because it gives me good feedback. Each time I do it, the exercise ends with less defusion and less ghosting.  That is, by the end of the exercise, the single image of the glowing circle is more robust.  It's getting close to being rock solid.  The other day I experienced a calmness which came with the thought 'I don't know when it's going to happen, but it's going to happen.'

What else... the great progress has come with exhaustion.  I don't resist it.  I just allow myself to sleep a lot.  That's probably the right thing to do.

Approximate fusion at 35 mA*min

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

#178 session: what tDCS seems to do

I decided that I'm no longer going to use the Oz position, but instead focus on o1 and o2.  They seem far more effective and I notice the results are much greater the next day.

Yesterday I was quite frustrated because my eyes were exhausted as a result of not being able to diverge sufficiently.  Combine that with the fact that my suppression is way down, I had some really annoying diplopia.  But Monday and a few days before that I had the anode on the Oz position.  I had been using that position because I had heard about researchers giving anodal stimulation on that region to help people gain stereopsis.  But it doesn't really make sense to do that.  The brain is split in two hemispheres.  You want to stimulate the visual cortex on the two different hemispheres which are located on each side of the head.

Yesterday I went back to the original o1 and o2 positions that I've already had quite a bit of success with.  This time I didn't split the anode.  I used two anodes and two cathodes since my Chattanooga device has dual channels.  One anode on the o2 with its cathode crossing to the left side of the neck with the other anode on o1 with its cathode crossing to the right side of the neck, creating an 'X'.

I could tell the difference in the anode placement almost immediately, and certainly during the day today.  I just noticed much less fatigue.  It's a lot easier to point my eyes at the same spot in space.  I'm a lot less irritable today, despite the fact that I didn't sleep too much--on a side note, try to do tDCS preferably several hours before you sleep--they don't call it transcranial direct current stimulation for nothing.  It's stimulating.

What tDCS seems to do is boost the amount of energy that the visual system has.  I'd talked about the concept of energy in the visual system in entries long ago, and how for vision therapy success, strategies are often implemented to conserve energy in order to make fusion easier.  The idea is that your visual system has a finite amount of energy which can be used for different functions like accommodation, fusion, movement, vergence, and so on.  One way to conserve energy is by cutting down on the amount of compensation the visual system has to make by correcting any kind of refractive errors with contact lenses.  One of the things that my vision therapist wanted me to do was use prism glasses to compensate for hypertropia that I had so the vision system could put more of its energy into fusion.  The idea was energy conservation.

When I've done a good tDCS session, it seems there's more energy available for the visual system.  It's much easier to fuse, and point my eyes at things so tasks which would ordinarily be exhausting aren't as exhausting.   Today I'm not nearly as exhausted I was yesterday.  I believe it's a result of the change in anode positioning.  Yesterday when playing XCOM after my exercises I noticed more depth than ever.  It was pretty badass.  I was noticing depth in places where I don't normally notice it as well.  Whenever I experience new levels of depth I get excited because it's so stimulating.  And it's going to get stronger than this, possibly a lot stronger.  So it was a good way to end a frustrating day.

Monday, December 9, 2013

#176 session

I'm making pretty good progress with my current regimen.  It's usually these three things--five minutes of Columns, five minutes of Bouncy with a six diopter prism on the left eye with the base facing to the right, another five minutes of Bouncy without a prism, five minutes of clown saccades, and 40 minutes of light tube movement exercises with an anode on the Oz region and cathode on the back of my neck at two milliamperes.

I did notice quite a bit more information today.  The double vision has gone wayyy down.  Now it's just that I have some ghosting, meaning that the image produced by the lazy eye isn't quite at the same speed as the regular eye, so it sort of trails behind it.

I got my Chattanooga Ionto device today.  It was sort of a bitch to figure out because there are no instructions.  I was wondering why it kept beeping at me when I turned it on.  It's because it senses whether it has the proper conductance before it passes current.

This turns out to be a very handy feature.  About midway through the session it started beeping at me.  I figured this had something to do with conductance, so I pressed the sponge electrodes a little on the head to get the saline to soak in more.  That did the trick.  It's just that I needed more saline.  Of course, you don't want to use too much saline, because then it can trickle down from the Oz position down to the neck creating a path for the electrons to follow over the skin--not what you want.  You want the electricity to bury in from the anode, under the skull, travel through the brain, and come back out through the cathode.  That's actually why it's recommended that you have at least eight centimeters of space between the anode and cathode.  Anyway, the impedance detector helps tell you whether you're doing it right.  I'm glad I got that device.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

#174 session: sensory fusion driving motor fusion

I hadn't used too much tDCS this week since I got freaked out by the tdcs-kit putting out 322 mA. But my digital multimeter just came in and I found out that it's providing the correct amperage.  So I'll be doing that until the Ionto device comes in the mail.

Despite the fact that I haven't done tDCS for four days, I'd still been seeing continual changes in my vision which seem to be a result of the increased brain plasticity from the prior tDCS sessions.

Last night, for instance, I noticed something new while I was driving to see The Octopus Project.  There is a normal tendency, when I am paying attention to something (in this case driving) for my lazy eye to move off in a different direction and for it to do its own thing.  In other words, in order for my eyes to gaze correctly, attention is required.  What seems to have happened is that my suppression has decreased to the point that when I divert my attention to a different task and my lazy eye begins to wander, the resulting visual conflict grabs my attention back to the eye and then I must gaze correctly.  Otherwise, I get really annoying double vision.  So in this case, sensory fusion is driving motor fusion.  It's sort of like the brain is saying to the eye 'Hey, you can't just go off and do whatever you want now.  You're part of a team.'

It's interesting.  I talked a while back in this video about how motor fusion and sensory fusion go hand in hand with one another.  I mentioned how I would notice that sometimes, if I had a particularly good vision therapy exercise which exercised my motor ability, that the next day I would notice more information pouring in as a result: more depth, more detail, and all that good stuff.  That's an example of motor fusion driving sensory fusion.  So it seems that motor and sensory fusion can drive each other in both directions.  Interesting!

There's no turning back now.  He's officially joined the team.  It's just a matter of increasing the power and increasing the precision.

The point where I'm at right now reminds me of Fixing My Gaze where Susan talks about the point just before she gained stereopsis.  (It's weird how many things I'm able to recall about that book.)  She said that it gets a little confusing because the suppression is at a very low level--just about to go away completely--and yet the fusion isn't quite stable.  So things can get a little, I don't know, shaky, maybe is the word.  It's really exciting to finally be where I'm at and be able to document and articulate and understand what's going on.  I really had doubts that I would ever get here.  Man!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Reddit discussion

For those who may be interested in discussion about tDCS, I started a thread in the tDCS subreddit about using tDCS in combination with vision therapy.

Here it is, yo.

http://www.reddit.com/r/tDCS/comments/1s7ji3/using_tdcs_in_combination_with_vision_therapy/

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

#171 session

I'll start making posts more frequently because now more interesting things are beginning to happen; there are more things on my mind; and I'm excited and need an outlet.

Today I saw more depth, more detail, and more information.  It's exciting.  So many things are going through my mind right now: I'm going to have stereopsis soon; it's going to be awesome; I'm going to be able to move on with my life--but with a life that's significantly improved.  Fuck yeah.

I've said those things before.  More depth, detail, and information--but now it's different.  My eyes are now pointing where they're supposed to point.  It's almost as if before the other eye was somewhere else.  It was right there; I could see it, but somehow it was in a different universe.  But that's changed.  Now when I put my attention on that eye, it's right there; there's very little adjustment needed.  The attention can be on the eye almost uninterrupted--which I suppose is the whole point of all of those exercises.  Now, it's almost like I can reach out and grab my eye with one of my hands and have its command.

I can see what people are talking about when they say that it's very stimulating.  Normally I'm a very fearless and reckless person, but I could see that changing when I have stereopsis.  When I was playing XCOM: Enemy Within, there are cutscenes with aliens running around after you've completed your turn.  Before it was nothing.  But now--and I'm just beginning to have stereopsis--I'm getting sort of freaked out by the aliens.  Before they were just a thing--a painting on a wall.  But now it's like FUCK it's in my face!  Jesus shit!  It's going to take some getting used to for sure.  Jesus Christ... Fuck.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

#170 session: tDCS works very well

It took at least a few sessions to get the electrode positions right.  I initially had the anodes too high up, relative to the inion--the part of the occipital lobe distinguished by a bone that sticks out a little.  But then I looked at the map again and realized that the o1 and o2 regions are on the same latitude lines.  It's just that one needs to be to the right and the other to the left.  I also kept with using the two anodes instead of one on the right side of the head (to integrate the left eye).  Further research indicates that each hemisphere processes each eye (probably for redundancy), so it makes sense to stimulate the visual system on both hemispheres.

Anyway--holy crap.  tDCS works.  It definitely works.  I'm pretty sure it's not just my imagination.  Objects appear bigger and clearer.  I thought, when looking at the text on my computer screen, that I had increased the size of the rendering on my browser, but then I realized that as I looked around the screen that even the task bar looked bigger.  And everything looks better, and I'm getting more 'pop' when playing games in stereo.

There's quite a bit more that I want to say about tDCS and its effects, but it's still early and I don't want to regret saying stuff.  But its effects seem to be wide-ranging.  And the reason I think for this is because brain tissue is very resource-hungry.  For example, it's often cited that the brain is three pounds, or two percent of the body's weight, but it uses around 25% of the body's metabolic energy.  If you can make the brain work more efficiently by powering it with a 9-volt battery, then those resources which would normally get broken down and eaten by the brain are free to be used by other body processes.  Anyway, that's just some interesting speculation on my part.

I'm pretty sure that tDCS is helping bring me closer to my goals at a much accelerated rate.  It's very exciting.  Of course, it's important that you know what you're doing, and that you don't apply more than two milliamperes of current to your noggin.  I recommend that you have at least have a working knowledge of Ohm's Law to be safe.  But as long as you apply current within the correct parameters, tDCS is safe, at least according to the research.  Before you begin applying current to your noggin, do your research.  But it is extremely exciting stuff.  Hah...

Edit:

There's something I want to add.  Every time before you begin a tDCS session you should test the current with a digital multimeter--even if your tDCS device has a current indicator.  The reason for this?  The tDCS kit that I bought ($40) malfunctioned and I think that instead of putting out the normal 2 milliamperes, it started putting out 340 milliamperes.  When I plugged in the battery I got a jolt that was somewhat jarring.  It was like a static shock, but the area around the cathode was feeling the current in a strong way which was very uncomfortable.

The good thing about this experiment is that I learned that tDCS is not bullshit, but an incredibly useful tool.  Because it's extremely useful, I decided to invest in a real tDCS device.
http://www.amazon.com/Chattanooga-IontoTM-Channel-Delivery-Phoresor/dp/B00B8EEJ72

It's expensive ($340), but I've already spent something like $7,500 on vision therapy, so whatever.  This, at least, is something I know which works.  I also bought this multimeter that I'm going to use to test the current before every session.

http://www.amazon.com/Mastech-MS8268-Digital-Manual-Multimeter/dp/B0050LVFS0/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1386111676&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=digital+multimeter

Friday, November 29, 2013

#167 session: tDCS with syntonics

I've been interested in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) ever since I'd heard about its apparent legitimacy.  Basically how it works is you pass current through your brain via anode (positive electrode) and cathode (negative electrode).  The current passes through the body, completing the circuit and if the electrodes are set up properly, the current should pass through the brain.  Whatever brain region is directly under the anode becomes depolarized (positively charged).  This brings neurons closer to the firing threshold, so they fire a lot easier since now you're injecting energy from an outside source (9-volt battery in this case), instead of relying on the body's metabolism to provide the resources to continually pump ions in and out of the neuron.  You basically release a lot of burden from the body to make the neurons work by having a 9-volt battery do the work.  And it makes the excited region of the brain work much more efficiently, and a lot of interesting consequences come from this.

There are a lot of interesting studies about how tDCS has an incredible number of potential applications.  It's known to help people with depression, recover from brain injuries, and it can also supercharge the brain so that you think better.  The military uses it to cut down on the time that it takes to train drone pilots.

Since tDCS can apparently increase neural plasticity, and since vision therapy relies on neural plasticity, it seems like these two should, in theory, be a natural pair.  So I Googled 'tDCS' and 'vision therapy'.  Sure enough, there are articles about combining vision therapy with tDCS which indicate that people who use tDCS with vision therapy recover stereopsis quicker than people who don't.  So the theory makes sense, and there are data to back it up.

I recently bought a kit for $40 from tdcs-kit.com and tested it with a digital multimeter.  Sure enough, it provided the correct 2 milliamperes.  I did my normal vision therapy exercises, and then when it came to the light tube, I saturated the electrodes with some saline that I made, put the two anodes on the o1 and o2 positions on the occipital lobe, put the cathode on my right shoulder, and then plugged in the 9-volt battery.

After about five minutes I could feel some tingling.  I didn't think I would feel it because I had split the anode (so it should be 1 ampere per anode), but it was there.  It was only mildly irritating.  I had it on for about 25 minutes while I did my circular movement light tube exercise.  Then I turned it off and the tingling stopped.

It did seem to make my vision a little better while I was on it.  When I looked at my monitor from across the room it looked bigger and clearer, but it could just be my imagination.  The next day, I did notice significant improvement, especially when playing XCOM.  Things were much more 'there' during the cutscenes.

That's just with one tDCS session.  I'm going to keep using it to see what happens.  Today I think I'm going to only use one anode and place it on the o2 (right occipital lobe) region.  According to the studies, tDCS is particularly effective for getting rid of suppression.  The left eye's vision is what I want to have integrated, so that's why I'm going to concentrate the full two milliamperes on the o2 position.
http://www.bem.fi/book/13/13.htm#03

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thoughts on the circular movement light tube exercise

This exercise seems to be perfect for fixing the last problem that I have: the driftage problem of the lazy eye.  I finally understand what that driftage problem was.  I can move the lazy eye fine--it's just that the motor control that the brain has over that eye is too low resolution.  Coarse movements work pretty well, but small, delicate and precise movements, which are necessary for proper stereopsis still suck quite a bit.  That's what's going on, and that's what the circular movement light tube exercise addresses.

While doing the exercise just a few minutes ago, I noticed that there are a few things that help make the exercise effective.

  1. I fix with the normal eye as always, but then I pay special attention to the lazy-eye image. 
  2. I try to make the scene as bright as possible. 
  3. I pay attention to the way the muscles in the lazy eye feel and then I pay attention to the way that the feeling of the muscles relates to the movements of the lazy-eye image.  I put as much focus as possible on that relationship.  
By doing these things, particularly number 3, I've found that I can substantially cut down on the amount of defusing that's normally seen with this exercise.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

#162 session

I'm still noticing incremental improvements.  No stereopsis just yet, but I'm confident that I'll get there, and sooner rather than later.  It's super exciting to think about.  I'll finally be able to move on with my life--but with a visual system that's a hell of a lot better.

I'm noticing more depth, especially when playing Tomb Raider.  Holy crap. When I move the camera around, things pop out right in front of me.  It's like it's RIGHT in front of me.  And my depth perception is improving on a nearly daily basis.

Anyway, I told the group about this light tube exercise that I fashioned--incorporating side-to-side movement while looking into the tube.  Michael told me that he had already been doing something similar, except instead of moving his head side to side, he would move his head in a circular direction.  I tried doing that myself, and my vision definitely became double.  But after around 40 minutes of that, it went substantially down.  I noticed significant improvement simply by making this adjustment.  It's one of the reasons I've found it to be super important to have a community.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

#158 session

I'm getting pretty excited.  I've seen quite a bit more improvement over the past few days.  I've been noticing, in particular, that I have been killing the light tube exercises.  For instance, maybe I've mentioned this before, but there is now no longer any accommodation out-of-sync problem.  That seems to have vanished with the contacts. When I got the contacts initially it was difficult to turn the left and right side of my head forward in turns without the left side becoming blurry.  But now that doesn't really happen.

The most exciting part is that the double vision is really diminishing when I make the turning movement when looking into the light tube.  Normally when I would tilt the right side of my face forward, the left eye image would drop down, and when I would turn it back, it would go up.  But now it's much, much less.  Yesterday, near the end of the workout, I was nearly able to maintain a perfectly single view of the scene while moving.  It was quite exhilarating.  I played some Tomb Raider in stereo and I noticed the depth effects were quite a bit stronger.  So it'll be interesting to see how far this takes me.  Day by day.

Friday, November 15, 2013

#153 session

My vision is steadily improving, and all exercises are indicating the improvement.  I could be a few months away, but it's meaningless for me to say that since I've said it in the past.  It's the best guess I can make.  But Bouncy is looking great, and so are the other exercises.

In the past few days I've been becoming especially conscious about the way that I look at things.  Normally when I look at things, I consciously look with my right eye and I shut off the left eye.  I've been becoming particularly sensitive about the way that it feels when I engage the lazy eye and when I disengage the lazy eye.  When I am doing work or something that requires my attention, I sort of have to look at things in this  way because it takes too much work to look at the object the correct way and pay attention to what I'm doing.

But today when I was walking down a trail, it occurred to me that I am on my first steps to making the correct way to look at things my natural automatic way, because it became very obvious when I would look at things the incorrect way.  When I do that, I sort of flagellate myself, and then correct it.

I wonder whether the improvement I'm making is a result of the contact lenses that I have put in or if it's just a coincidence.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

#147 session: contacts

I think these contacts that I just got will likely be helpful.  I've only used them for a few days now.  Now I think I have a good grasp on the technique for taking them in and out.  There were a few things that made it difficult for me: I have small eyes, and I have strabismus, so that makes it difficult to get the lens and and judge the depth as I stick the lens on the eyeball.

It is my perception that I see more depth immediately after I put the contact lenses on.  Last week when I had them on for a day, I seemed to have made good progress, but then it lazed down when I didn't put them back in.  So I'm guessing and hoping that this is what needs doing.

Another thing I notice is that my esotropia does go down a little bit when I have the contacts in.  I've always had that persistent esotropia.  But I think this correction might help get rid of it once and for all.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

#143 session

Things have improved markedly since last time.  I know that I've said this before, but now it's especially true.  I'm experiencing something like stereopsis right now and it's great, and it's amazing to think that it's only going to be greater as motor control increases and as suppression decreases.  I should qualify that by saying it's obviously a 'low-resolution' stereopsis since I'm not fusing.  If I were fusing, I wouldn't be seeing an extra copy of letters on the screen as I type this.

It's interesting.  I've actually experienced my vision improve quite a bit in the past week even though I've taken off several days.  But I should say that I have been playing games in stereo 3d a bit extensively.  I do believe playing games in stereo 3d can be a good practice for stereopsis.  Maybe this means that I shouldn't have been working so hard and so obsessively.

Regardless... I think I discovered the last exercise technique I'm going to have to learn until I fuse and gain full stereopsis.  It's that tilting the left and right side of the head toward the light  in the light tube, carefully controlling the speed so that I'm just able to maintain a singular view of the glowing circle.  It feels like that's it.  I've already seen improvement--significant improvement--since a few weeks ago that I discovered it.  The idea now is to keep going at it so that I've be able to maintain a singular view of the glowing circle regardless of how quickly I turn my head.

That might be the most important exercise I'm doing right now.  I think I'll probably cut down on Columns to five minutes, Bouncy five minutes, saccades five minutes, and tilting light tube for 20 minutes.  That's only a 35 minute VT workout, but it's probably better that way... and I'm probably going to take more days off.

#137 session

This is out of order since I accidentally posted it to a different blog.

Quick update.  Things are definitely moving along.  I'm noticing now that when I move my eyes to a target, they're both landing there pretty much automatically.  Now it's just a matter of hardening it down, getting rid of the preference of the right eye, and fusing.

One of the exercises that's looking really good is Bouncy.  The hypertropia is almost gone completely from that exercise.  Saccades is great as well.  There is still some lag when I try to get the right posture with the left eye when looking at the clown at the lower right-hand side of the screen.  Other than that, it's great.

I guess that's another value of having multiple difference exercises to do: you may not always notice improvement in the same exercise every day or so, but if you do multiple exercises, you're more likely to notice change in at least one of those exercises.  That gives you good feedback and a psychological boost.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

#142 session-ish

I haven't done exercises yet today, and I didn't do them yesterday.  I'm finding that it's good to take a day break every once in a while.

I got my contact lenses.  My eyes are all red and bothered as a result of my inexperience with taking them in and out.  When the doctor put the contacts in I immediately noticed more depth.  It's hard to say whether it was real or the power of suggestion.  I think it was probably real.  It was a small amount of correction.  Supposedly I have a small astigmatism on the left eye and some myopia on the right eye, but the doctor says it's so small that he said I don't even need the contacts.  I told him that I wanted them anyway.  Whatever small refractive error I can have fixed, I want it fixed so to make fusion simpler.

I have noticed some substantial progress since I've had the contacts even though I've only worn them for a day.  I'm taking a break for my eyes until the inflammation goes down.

What is there to say about my actual vision?  I'm noticing that my eyes are automatically landing where they should--both of them.  I'm noticing significantly less suppression.  Like when I look at individual objects.  Also--the depth is increasing.  I wish I could say more than that right now.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Good day

I haven't done my exercises yet today, but today I noticed a rather big change in my vision.  There's significantly less suppression, and significantly better motor control.

One of the things that I did last night which may have contributed to the perceived differences is this: when I was doing light tube exercises, I did my normal thing of engaging the lazy eye so that the scene is bright as possible.  In addition to that, I started moving my head side to side so that the left side of my face would be turned toward the light, and then turning it so that the right side of my face would be turned toward the light.

One of the things that I noticed when I did this is that it was challenging keeping a singular view of the scene.  Especially when I turned to the right, I noticed that the lazy eye's image of the glowing circle would dip lower.  And then when I adjusted and turned to the left, it would rise up higher. So I slowed down the rate at which I turned my head side to side so that it was slow enough that the control I have over the eye was able to prevent the lazy eye image from dipping lower.  If I rotate slowly enough I'm able to maintain a singular view of the glowing circle.  Then I sped my rotating a little bit so that I was right on the edge where I was able to maintain a singular view of the glowing circle, but just barely.  I just kept it there at that edge of motor and sensory fusion all the while focusing on making the scene as bright as possible.  I'm going to do this again today later when I come back from the gym.

But yeah, when I was walking around today, I started noticing things that I wasn't noticing before, like these lighting fixtures above me.  It suddenly occurred to me how low they sit relative to the height of the ceiling.  Also, it occurred to me how much more powerful my sense of motion parallax is when I looked through windows.  I know Susan talks a bit about that in Fixing My Gaze.  Big changes were noticed today.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Random thought

I just had a thought that I wanted to crystallize.  The real purpose of these exercises is, in fact, feedback.  That's what it's all about.  If you think about what you're learning while doing the exercises and then apply them when you're going about your day you'll have much quicker results because you'll be doing the rewiring of your brain while you're not doing exercises, which is to say, nearly all of the time.  Your neurons are going to be paving new pathways throughout the day instead of during the mere minutes of daily VT that you may be doing.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

#134 session: focusing on the feeling

This is just a quick status update.  I'm still doing this regimen every day.  It takes up a lot of freaking time, especially with my new job, commuting, etc.  It sort of sucks, actually.

  1. 20 minutes of Columns: around 14 minutes on the regular Column sheet working on motor ability, and for the other six minutes I focus on the star sheet and work on my peripheral vision 
  2. Ten minutes of Bouncy and saccades combined
  3. 40 minutes of light tube
I just started cycling through the filters again.  I had used the magenta Alpha Delta filters for a long freaking time, and now I'm on Mu Upsilon.  I noticed some change today as a result.  It's all very incremental, but I am noticing the changes almost every day--certainly every week.  I can't help but think that I wasted a lot of time by not getting contact lenses a long time ago.  If I have an accommodation insufficiency (my doctor's notes from when I was a toddler indicate that I had some 'modest hyperopia'), it's small.  But every bit should help.  I can't help but think that the reason this has all taken me so long is because I've been plowing through several problems all at once, such as eccentric fixation and accommodation insufficiency, and I'm slowly fixing these problems with my exercises.  The plan is for me to get prescribed lenses by an optometrist next week.

What else... yeah, I've just been pondering a bit about my light tube exercises and how to do them, since 'how to do Syntonics' is a question that often pops up.  The answer you hear is often 'just stare into the light'.  My answer is more complicated and involves words like 'feedback'.  I am definitely of the opinion that simply looking into the light wouldn't have had much benefit for me.  It's been useful to me as a feedback device primarily, and then perhaps all of the syntonicky stuff secondarily.  

I'd talked a bit about it in previous entries about not allowing the motor neurons to let go of the eyeball, while keeping the lazy eye's image engaged by the brain.  The way you know that the motor neurons are engaged on the eyeball is that you can feel the muscles on the eye.  It's somewhat unpleasant and can be stressful.  But I think it's a feeling to hold onto.  I think ultimately by not letting go, I'll get rid of the driftage which is a result of allowing the motor neurons to let go of the eyeball.  The way you know that your brain is engaging the lazy eye's image is brightness.  When the scene is particularly bright, it means that you're suppressing less, and using more of the lazy eye's input than you are when the scene is dimmer.  For me at least, especially when doing the light tube, this is something that I've learned to do consciously.  When I consciously unsuppress, it gets brighter, and it is associated with a particular feeling.  It's almost like flexing a muscle.  When I think about that feeling and take command of that feeling, I've found that I can amplify it.  I think this is an avenue to explore.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

#130 session

Just a quick update.  Depth perception is improving and getting more intense.  It's very incremental, but I noticed a change in particular after this weekend.  I've been thinking a bit about the possibility of using drinking and hardcore exercise as tools for facilitating an overhaul of the brain's wiring--the rationale being that binge drinking on a given day (so that you feel it the next day) will damage dendrites and help clear out old pathways--or old habits--in this case, old, bad vision habits.  Then lots of cardio and exercise in between, and during days of aggressive VT will help create brain-derived neurotrophic factor and thus help create new neurons and generate new neural pathways--in this case, new preferable stereo-seeing vision habits.

It does seem to be working for me.  I am also beginning to notice some rivalry.  It's all happening.  It's happening slowly, but steadily it seems.  I'm going to try and see whether I can get some contact lenses.  If I have accommodation insufficiency, it's small.  But I'll take all of the help I can get.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

#124 session

There are a few things that there are different since Monday.

Suppression is significantly less--this is just based on my perception as I go about my day, and particularly while doing Columns.

Perception of depth has also gone up quite a bit as was especially evident while playing Metro 2033: Last Light.

Today I only did a 20 minute session because it's late, and I would rather have the extra 20 minutes of sleep than an extra 20 minutes of VT.  Plus, my lazy eye is exhausted.  

When I did Columns today, the suppression was so low that I began to noticed some visual artifacts that are a result of cyclodeviation.  I saw the whole paper very clearly (despite the USPS envelope acting as a barrier between my two eyes), but there was a bend in the middle where the visual input splits.  It bent downward, which represented the counterclockwise twist on the lazy eye.  It should be low enough for me to be able to fix.  I'll try and see whether I can fix it next time. I did this time already, and I think I was able to correct it.  Let's see about tomorrow.

I'm going to go to sleep now.  Hopefully the fatigue will be less tomorrow.  We'll see what happens.  I am excite.

Monday, October 14, 2013

#122 session

Whoa... whoa!

I took three days off.  But whoa.  I can't help but think that this is it.  It can't be much longer for me.  I'm going to have stereoscopic vision soon.  

All exercises went well.  But I stuck with the epiphany that I had in the last session and I am riding it out.  What I'm now doing is making the light as bright as possible--which is something that I've learned how to do by just willing for it to happen.  I do that while simultaneously keeping my motor neurons engaged on the lazy eye.  As I said before, I used to have a tendency to get my lazy eye where it's supposed to be (the correct posture), and then say 'well, that's good enough' (unconsciously of course), and then take my hands off.  But now I know that this unconscious laziness is what has held me back for so long.  So now I keep my motor neurons and muscles engaged on the eye always, no matter what, while keeping the scene as bright as possible.  Holy shit that made a difference.

Anyway.  I expect to see some changes this week, and possibly more eye candy for tomorrow.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

#121 session

I just had an epiphany while doing the light tube and I want to take the time right now to jot it down in case I forget.

Lately I've been noticing a lot about the way my lazy eye feels when it moves and tracks things.  It feels good.  But when I'm not tracking things or moving the lazy eye, I let it disengage--meanwhile the fixing eye never disengages.  The fixing eye is never not looking at something, although that's not true of the lazy eye.  It's often not looking at anything at all, provided that it's looking in roughly the right direction to avoid diplopia.  What I mean by 'disengaging' the lazy eye is analogous to locking your knees while standing.  It uses less energy and you might have decent posture, but you're also less ready for action.

So while doing the light tube, I've been focusing a lot on getting the scene as bright as possible--but now it's occurred to me that while doing that, I should not--or ever, really--disengage the lazy eye.  That's probably what my whole freaking problem is.  When I disallow it to disengage, it's quite a workout, but that's not really a problem.  I'm sure that when I get used to not disengaging it, the fatigue will go away.

It seems really obvious--it's just a connection that I had failed to make before.  The fact that it's disengaged is probably what's causing the 'driftage' that I've talked about.  Damnit!

It's just the same theme recurring again and again.  As I progress and gain experience with exercises, I become more and more aware of what I'm doing that's wrong, what I should be doing, and what my next steps should be.   The next step is conscious non-disengagement of the lazy eye.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

#119 session

It was another good eye day.

No luck with randots or hidden autostereograms--yet.  But my diplopia is going way down.  Saccades were the best they'd ever been.  It's weird doing saccades without any discernible diplopia at all.  Of course, the diplopia is noticeable with Bouncy.

I worked on Columns, getting the paper as solid as possible with the six-column sheet.  I figured out a way to improve the load on it.  I think of my two eyes as one single eye, and I'm simply saccading from column to column as if there is no barrier there at all.  I just hard-stare at the letters/numbers as I saccade to them, and then I quickly switch, anticipating where it's going to be--of course, it's not really anticipation since I know exactly where they are.

Light tube was great.  It was just bright, and clear, almost immediately.  Things are going very well.

Monday, October 7, 2013

#117 session

Lately I've been noticing that I've been seeing a lot of improvement, but each time I have something to report about a specific exercise.  This time it's saccades.  This time it was weird, because I had almost no perceived diplopia.  I was wondering how that could be, but then as I progressed, I noticed a little bit of an image behind another.  So I did have some diplopia, but it was so small that it was almost imperceptible.  Other exercises went well, but saccades really surprised me.  This has got to be it.  I really can't imagine that I have that much farther to go.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

#116 session

It was another pretty good day.  I'm just seeing some incremental improvements.  Specifically I'm seeing improvement in Bouncy, in that the double images are coming closer together.  Actually, saccades went very well as well.  It was easy jumping across the screen, and I liked the way that I could feel my lazy eye work.  That's actually something I remember Heather talking about.  I started noticing that feeling as well when I was playing Shadow Warrior in stereo 3d.

Columns went great.  I am noticing that I still have some work to do, since when I saccade back to the left, that I don't have enough time to full accommodate.  This is probably because I now have the tempo at 130 bpm.  I've been changing my focus more on eye movement than the peripheral vision aspect on Columns.

Light tube has been great. I've been getting it really bright and the accommodation is going way down.  If there's ever been a time that I feel like I've got a grip on this thing, it's now.

20

Thursday, October 3, 2013

#114 session

Today was a great eye day.  The depth and the summation is just getting stronger.  When I pulled into my normal spot coming home from work, looking around, I saw layers of depth, inside my car, the dashboard, and outside.  It's still not yet stereopsis.  I won't have that until the diplopia is gone.  But I am really enjoying what I am seeing.  And today I was playing Shadow Warrior in stereo 3d.  I am now able to put the convergence settings up really high since my eyes are now pretty powerful.  And man, the 3d effects were great today.  It was really enjoyable.

But there's still work to be done.  Columns went well, particularly when I was near the end.  The input coming into the fixing eye when I was fixing with the lazy eye was getting pretty crisp near the end.  It's all just a matter of degree; incremental improvements.  It makes it difficult for me to say things that are interesting.  One thing I feel I should mention that I don't think I did before: I've been upping the tempo on the metronome, way up--like up to 130 bpm when I'm doing the normal columns sheet, and then I go down to 90 bpm when I do the star-shaped sheet.  This is because I'm using the normal columns sheet to build motor control and to let my brain know what it's like to move the muscles controlling the lazy eye; and because I use the star-shaped sheet primarily to build peripheral vision in addition to motor control.

Bouncy is actually pretty good.  I saw the most improvement in that since last time.  I just try to tilt my head both ways and get the balls to be as close to single as possible, and I have to say--I'm very happy with where I am relative to where I was.  It's interesting because the depth effects I'm already starting to get are pretty awesome... and I still have a significant amount of double vision.

Saccades went well--better than last time.

The light tube, again... my prime focus is brightness.  Interestingly, when I focus on brightness, the out-of-sync accommodation problem seems to go away.  I got a lot of time in on the light tube while achieving a high level of brightness.  This is similar to yesterday.  And it was yesterday that I said that I expected to see some good stuff today, which I did.  So let's see what we get tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#113 session

I missed last session.  There wasn't much to say other than I was too exhausted to record it.  But I am still chugging away.  I will probably not be writing as much as I was before, since I'm getting sick of writing so much redundant stuff.  I may now skip a few sessions, and write only things that I consider relevant.  That said...

Things are moving along.  All exercises are doing very well.  The light tube in particular has much attention.  Today there was barely an accommodation difference between the two input streams even in the very beginning.

One of the things that I discovered lately is that by turning my right side forward, and then by relaxing the lazy eye, I can make the input much, much brighter.  I can't do that if I have the left side forward--which seems to be a tendency I have which is probably related to my head tilt.  So lately, I've been focused a lot on getting the light as bright as possible.  It's basically looking really good.  Also, when I look around during the day it looks different.  I'm seeing a lot more, and I'm enjoying looking around more, especially when driving.  I believe I'm on the right track by making it a focus to get the scene as bright as possible.  What I'll do is I'll take a quick break from making it as bright as possible, and then I'll focus on accommodation and then compensating for hypertropia--then I'll go back to making the scene bright again.  This seems to work because I do see hypertropia since making the scene very bright causes my brain to engage the lazy eye a lot, and thus making whatever hypertropia is there, very apparent.  I expect to see some very significant changes in the coming week.

Monday, September 30, 2013

#111 session

Today was another good day.  I've been enjoying looking around lately.  I think I've been seeing more.  Nearly all indicators are moving in the right direction.   Columns is doing great.  I'm moving really fast with it, and it's getting quite solid.  I noticed particular improvement today when I was jumping from side to side with the star-shaped sheet, and there was very little movement, on the opposite side of the fixing eye, which means there was less need for correction.  The corresponding eye knows where to go immediately.

Right now, I'm sort of cruising.  I am excited to see what the week brings in terms of all of the extra things I expect to see.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

#110 session

Today was another good eye day.  It was really pretty amazing how good my eyes felt.  I could feel the lazy eye doing more work and behaving more like a regular eye.  And also, I could see quite a bit more.  It's not stereopsis, but it was quite a spectacle.  It was really nice looking around.  I'm wondering if it has to with the fact that I got pretty intoxicated yesterday.  I mentioned back maybe a month ago that heavy drinking maybe once a month might be beneficial as it possibly makes it easier for the to ignore brain to ignore old pathways.  In my experience, after a heavy night of drinking, I'll notice positive changes in my vision the very next day.  Of course, other than rare episodes of sporadic drinking, I hardly drink at all.  Alcohol is basically a pretty destructive drug, unless used in moderation.  In fact, the damage it does to dendrites is perhaps why it can be useful.

Columns went very well.  I think speeding up the metronome was a very good idea.  I have it going to to 120 beats per minute when I do the normal columns sheet.  When I go to the star-shaped sheet, I move it back to 92 beats per minute.  It's working better and I'm getting better at making it seem like a whole picture even though they're two images separated by a barrier between my eyes.  It's hard to say whether it's the Columns which is improving the Columns, or if it's the light tube that's improving the Columns.  Honestly, I think it's the light tube, but probably both.

Bouncy went very well.  It's good to have that pair of exercises to cover both saccadic and smooth pursuit movements.  It was initially a bit tough, but I tilted my head to load the activity, and while I couldn't get rid of the hypertropia and esotropia, after a few minutes it was nearly gone.  I think this is a good exercise.  Saccades went well.  There is still the lag on the right side, but it's awesome pretty much nearly everywhere else.

The light tube was great.  It took nearly only a minute to get both of the images accommodated for, so it is a process that is continually getting better and more refined.  Eventually, there will be no waiting at all, I imagine.  I did have to pay attention pretty much the entire time to make sure that the double images stayed accommodated.  The light did get extremely bright.  When it does this, I get excited.  Anyway.  Good stuff.

Friday, September 27, 2013

#109 session

Columns went alright.  I decided to increase the tempo to around 97 bmp on the metronome.  It seemed to increase the load of the workout.

Bouncy and saccades went alright.

Light tube, again, was pretty good.  I spent a pretty good chunk of the time fully accommodated.  Hopefully I'll soon be able to make that 100% of the time.

As far as Bouncy and saccades go, I might try to do some tranaglyph exercises to increase my divergence ability, especially on the extreme right.

Now that I have insurance as well, I might see about getting contact lenses.  I suspect that I may have some slight accommodation insufficiency.  If I can get both of my eyes on the same page as much as possible, it should make fusion simpler.  This is one of the things that Heather said that her doctor had her do.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

#108 session

It was another good day, although probably not as good as yesterday.  I have a feeling that, based on how exercises went today, that I will notice some changes tomorrow.

Columns was good.  Today it was particularly stable as I jumped around the middle of the star.  The was significantly less correction required.

Bouncy was quite good actually.  I'd started experimenting by tilting my head to the left and right to see what impact that had on the double vision.  It really didn't have a big impact, which is a positive indicator.  After all, when a binocularly normal person tilts his head to the left or right he doesn't suddenly get diplopia.  But people with strabismus often do have an unconscious head tilt they implement in order to avoid diplopia.  So the fact that tilting my head one way or another doesn't have a big impact on diplopia is a positive indicator.

Saccades as eh... that feels like it's regressing a little.  I'm starting to experience lag again when I saccade to the right.  That's something which had nearly disappeared when I was doing Special Tetris. So maybe the fact that I temporarily stopped doing Special Tetris is why saccades aren't as good.  I don't know.  But I do know that I saw quite a bit of overall improvement when I stopped.  Maybe it's because Special Tetris was decreasing the efficacy of the other exercises; maybe it's because Special Tetris is so intense that it requires taking breaks from it... and then when your body recuperates it's better than before.  Who knows.

Light tube went really well--again.  It took a minute or so to get the double images accommodated.  I feel like that process is speeding up.  I did resist some hypertropia today.  It can be quite a struggle trying to maintain accommodation on both eyes, while keeping track of vergence while correcting for hypertropia.  But when I let one of those facets relax for a moment, I sometimes get a big blast of magenta light come through.  I can feel the channels widening, letting more light through into the visual cortex.  It's a great feeling.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

#107 session

Today was yet another good eye day.  I wonder how an Australian would say that.

I'm still noticing the stereo effects getting stronger, just like the prior day.  Every once in a while I will glance at something, and I will get some pop--it happened when I did a quick glance near my steering wheel.  I couldn't help but think about Sue.  But still, even with the quick pops, especially when I'm walking down a corridor or driving down the street, the input from the other eye is noticeable and a permanent feature of my vision now.  I guess that means less suppression.

Columns was very good today, especially near the 15 minute mark.  When I fix with the lazy eye, the other eye's vision is getting more solid.  That's all I can really say about it I suppose.  One of the weird things I'd always noticed about my vision is that when I fix with my good eye, I can see stuff relatively well with the lazy eye if I pay close attention.  However, when I would fix with the lazy eye, I could practically see nothing with the other eye.  It was weird, because it was definitely there, but as much as I would try, I couldn't perceive anything for input from the good eye when I was fixing with the lazy eye.  It was as if it was in another universe.

That's one of the things that was like a splinter in my mind, because one of the questions I'd always ask myself is 'how does this or that aspect of my vision compare to how I would imagine that it would function for a binocularly normal person?'  I would always ask questions like that as a means of guiding myself toward my goals.  And obviously, that's very, very bad if you can't see any of the good eye's input when you fix with your lazy eye.  But now, that problem which was always a bastard to think about is actually being expressly addressed by this beautiful exercise that Heather taught me.  The pieces are finally beginning to line up.

Bouncy was alright, but not great.  There's still esotropia, and I make sure not to tilt my head.  I'm not too worried about it though.  Saccades were alright, but not great other.

The light tube went really, really well.  I just switched to the magenta Alpha Delta filters, which, as I remembered them, tend to show accommodation mismatch pretty vividly and unapologetically (your shit's busted, sir).  For the first minute or so I dealt with fighting the accommodation mismatch until it was pretty under control.  It's something that I have to be conscious about pretty much the entire time.  Sometimes I take a break, and when I do take a break and relax, the light becomes uber bright.  It's the brightest I remember it being.  It's almost blinding.  When I have both double images in near perfect focus, I do notice that I have to resist against some hypertropia again, probably because I'm allowed to use the eye more, and so whatever hypertropia is there is unacceptable to the brain.  ok...  Let's see how things are tomorrow.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

#106 session

Today was a really 'good eye' day.  I noticed it yesterday as well, but today was even better.  I'm seeing more detail and more depth to a new extent.  I wonder if it's the new stress of the new job, or if the job has forced me to change my schedule.  But there are a number of things that I've been doing differently in the past few days.
  • I've been doing an hour or more of yoga every day after work at the gym.  Yoga is freaking brutal if you're a somewhat big guy like me (I'm about 200 lbs).  I also feel incredibly good when I'm done.
  • I'm doing light tube exercises once a day for 40 minutes instead of twice a day for 20 minutes at a time.
  • I stopped playing Special Tetris (at least for now).  
  • I do Columns for about five minutes in the morning and for about 20 minutes when I do my evening exercises.  
Columns keeps getting better and better.  The whole scene is much more solid and doing the exercise feels more natural than before.  When I hop around from letter to letter on the star-shaped sheet while trying to pay attention to the whole star, I'm noticing that when I fix on a letter with my left eye, the letters and whole scene that I'm seeing simultaneously with the right eye is much more solid, and 'there'.  

Bouncy can still improve quite a bit.  When I look to the right, I do get some esotropia still.   Saccades went alright as well.  

The light tube is going great lately.  There was some initial resistance against the hypetropia, but it went away as the session continued.  The light is still getting quite a bit brighter, and the difference in accommodation between each eye is definitely very significantly going down as a result of me focusing on relaxing, and only putting in the bare minimum amount of effort in order to get the fixing eye to accommodate as it should.  

Tomorrow--Alpha Delta filters.  It's definitely a rollercoaster. Just the other day I was demoralized as all hell.  Now I seem to be doing alright again.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

#105 session

I just started my new job so I won't have as much time to do VT.  I'm still planning on doing something around an hour or so per day.  I'm going to take a break from Special Tetris right now and focus on Columns and light tube.

Columns went well.  I'm noticing that it's beginning to appear differently, and more whole.  I've still been doing a lot of work on the peripheral vision in the center of the start sheet.  It's looking pretty good.

I've been making progress with the light tube lately.  I have more control over the accommodation difference problem now.  I just can't wait to get to the Alpha Delta filters on Wednesday.  Then I can focus on Columns while doing light tube filters on the Alpha Delta filters.  That's what Heather Essex Thomas was doing when she gained stereopsis.

As far as subjective experience is concerned, I've been making strides.  I still see quite a bit of hypertropia in my lazy eye at times.  But at other times, it's almost invisible.  So I shouldn't be too concerned when I see it at times.  After all, some people who have real stereopsis report that sometimes their eyes will do weird things if they're tired or stressed out.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

#104 session

Columns is going well.  There was no real difference from yesterday.

Special Tetris does seem to be improving and becoming more stable.

Bouncy and saccades went well, I suppose.

I'm seeing more detail with the light tube now that it seems that I'm almost done with getting rid of the accommodation difference between each eye.  So that's nice.

2

Friday, September 20, 2013

#103 session

Columns went alright.  It is getting easier.

Special Tetris was fine.  It's improving.  I've been focusing a bit more on trying to get the pieces into focus.

Bouncy and saccades went well.  Bouncy is so fast.  I try to not tilt my head since that's my tendency, and then I get some hypertropia (i.e., the left double image ball goes down).  But even without tilting, I'm able to get it more even.  Saccades are looking really freaking good.

Light tube--I'm focusing on getting both double images in focus.  It turns out that I can do it, which is actually sort of a big deal.

I know there was a sort of debate going on in my FB group as to whether you should focus on motor fusion or sensory fusion first.  Emanuele stresses focusing on sensory fusion as a starting point, and then building on whatever fusion ability you may already have.  I should try adding some sensory fusion exercises, especially now that my peripheral vision is getting quite good.  I just wonder what some sensory fusion exercises are.  I know that I've been playing quite a bit of Alien Breed in stereo 3d on my computer lately.  Perhaps that can count as a sensory fusion exercise?  I'll do some research.

4

Thursday, September 19, 2013

#102 session

Columns... hmm, went alright.  I am beginning to see more stability when I swap from eye to eye and still try and see the same star.  Usually what happens is when I fix with my lazy eye, the corresponding side is lower or higher.  But it's getting better.

Special Tetris, I think, is actually getting less blurry, and more solid.  Playing at high speed is getting easier.

I adjusted Bouncy to make the ball bigger, and to also move around a lot faster.  I think it's much better that way.  I don't see a whole lot of hypertropia when I play, although I am noticing esotropia.  I guess it's a good game to gauge where the misalignment is so that I can make adjustments to exercises to address that particular misalignment.  Saccades went well.  I'm amazed at how far I've come along with saccades.  I can hop almost exactly right to the correct point.

Light tube went pretty well compared to yesterday.  Keeping in mind the things that I said yesterday, I was actually able to keep both images in focus for a while, which was exciting.  When that happens, it gets a lot brighter, and considering that I'm already using the bright yellow/green filters, it feels all that much brighter.

5

#101 session

Columns are progressing, I think.  I've added a new type of mini-exercise within the main exercise.  As always I do some warmups with the main column sheet.  Then I go to to star-shaped sheet and focus near the center.  I hop and fix on letters near the center, switching from one eye to another.  And with each saccade I make, I pay attention to the whole star.  It seems like good exercise.

Special Tetris went alright.  I think suppression may be lowering still.  There isn't much cyclodeviation, but I have started to pay more attention to it to get it lower.

Saccades and Bouncy went well.  I've got to modify bouncy so that it goes faster and so the ball is bigger.  But I think Bouncy is a great addition to the regimen.

The light tube got my attention today.  I've lately been getting pretty frustrated with where I am.  I know that progress is moving along at a brisk pace, but I can't help but feel like I may never reach my goals, and I'm not where I should be.  When I looked into the light tube I noticed that I still have the out of sync accommodation problem, and I got frustrated by it, because it's still there, and I don't know how to get rid of it even after all of this time.  I tried doing the old fudging method by pulling the images apart and getting them accommodate, and then while keeping them accommodated, pulling them back together.  It seemed to work a little.  Then I thought about what others had said about trying to relax.  So I tried that, and tried to stay as calm as possible and use only the conscious mechanisms needed for accommodation and vergence and nothing else.  It seemed helpful.  I'm going to try and be more aware of this with future light tube exercises.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

#100 session

Yaaa, session #100... w00t... :(.... :(................ shit.

Columns did go well though.  When I saccade from eye to eye, I am noticing less of a difference in the difficulty in order to be able to see a whole picture.  So things are improving on that front.

Special Tetris.... yeah, the only thing I'm really noticing is less suppression as time goes on.  I am seeing some cyclodeviation, but it's harder to control because when the falling pieces slide past the stacked pieces, it's hard to see the cyclodeviation very precisely as a result of the suppression.   That will change once I reverse the filters again next week.

I went to the bright green/yellow Mu Delta filters for the light tube today, which was nice.  Every go-around with the light tube it appears differently.  So even though I'm now at #100, I'm not too bothered.  As long as I see steady progress that's what's important to me.  In fact, when I look at my eyes today, I saw hardly any hypertropia at all.  Last night when I took pictures, it was significantly lower than I'd seen it before.  There was some of the accommodation difference, but it's changing; it's becoming less and less.

I also did Bouncy and saccades.  Bouncy was actually better than it was yesterday.  Nice!  There was less perceived hypertropia, and it feels like I am on track to getting to see just one ball.

7

Monday, September 16, 2013

#99 session

Columns went well.  I am noticing changes in how I see the Columns paper itself.  I'm noticing that I am seeing more of it all simultaneously.  I am still doing it the way that I last described.  I go through the normal sheet a few times, and then I focus on the star-shaped sheet and pay attention to the middle area, where I focus on the letters 'SEA'.  I jump around those letters fixing on surrounding letters, while simultaneously trying to see the word 'SEA'.  It's good exercise on the peripheral vision.

Special Tetris was good.  The picture is starting to look better with the filters set to red/cyan.  It's starting to look more focused and more stable.  I will probably keep them this way for a week, and then start alternating next week so I can have some basis for comparison.

The light tube was actually sort of a pain in the ass again.  It was very strenuous fighting against the hypertropia.  It was also just strenuous in general--it's hard to explain.

I did three minutes of saccades and three minutes of Bouncy.  It's good stuff.  I've been neglecting doing it lately, but I'm going to try and get back into it.

8

Sunday, September 15, 2013

#98 session

Columns went well.   I'm seeing quite a bit more as a result of that exercise, I'm sure.

Special Tetris went well.  I haven't gone back to the normal cyan/red way of looking at it yet.  I'm still doing red/cyan because it's still quite a bit challenging.  It's a very different sensation from the other way around because the stacked pieces are like a background, especially when they take up a large part of the screen.  And since the lazy eye is what sees the stacked pieces, and since what the lazy eye sees tends to drift around it's a bit disorienting, because it's like the whole world is moving around.  But lately that's been improving a lot, so it's become much more stable.  And also, the suppression is apparently going down quite a bit.  I think Special Tetris may be working better as an antisuppressive this way when looking through the filters as red/cyan (assuming that your left eye is your lazy eye).

The light tube went alright.  I was able to get the lazy eye image in clear focus much quicker today, probably because I paid special attention to it.  One of the weird things that I noticed early on in my vision therapy exercises is that the input from one of my eyes appears to be bigger (the lazy eye).  I noticed that initially when I was doing the Brock String.  I was really wondering why that was, but then I suddenly realized.  It's because of how I was tilting my head (probably as a result of my hypetropia).  The left eye was actually closer to the beads than my right eye.  I tilted my head the other way, and sure enough, the right-side image of the bead then got bigger by comparison.  The reason I mention that is because in my Facebook group I heard of a new condition called aniseikonia.  Aniseikonia is a condition in which one of the double images appears larger than the other.  I wonder how many people think they have aniseikonia, but in reality, one eye is just closer to the object in question than the other.

Yeah, I was thinking about that when I was doing light tube earlier today.  I was like 'hmm, the left-side image looks bigger... oh yeah...' and then I fix my gaze and then it appears normally.

9