Saturday, May 14, 2016

Brock string and fixation cards are still effective

There's still quite a bit of work that needs to be done.  But the good thing about the way I'm using the fixation cards is that it tells me what needs doing and how far I have to go.

The closer I am able to get to the card while having good accommodation for both eyes while fixing each eye on its respective target, the closer I am to achieving my goal of stereopsis.  My eyes have to be accommodated and focused on their targets clearly in order for stereopsis to happen.  That might not be the only thing that's needed; there may be other things as well, but I am focusing on this for now, and doing this is proving beneficial.

In the past few weeks I've noticed quite a bit of progress, especially earlier this morning.  I was able to get pretty close.  Then I close one of my eyes and then bring the paper within a few inches of my eyes until I reach the limit of accommodation.  I realize that I don't have that much further to go.

These changes to my vision seem to be translated into other areas.  I've noticed this while looking at my eyes in the mirror.  Double images of myself when I look at myself in the mirror are particularly uneven.  One set of images is significantly off.  But that seems to have improved quite a lot.  Brock string has improved a lot.  One of my weaknesses has always been getting superimpositioning the beads on top of one another when I'm looking at them obliquely, particularly if they're at the top right of my visual field.  Well, this is still an issue, but the distance of how far away the double images are has significantly gone down.

So I'm still chugging away, doing eight minutes fixation cards, eight minutes of Brock string, and then messing around with my HTC Vive.

Oh yeah, I haven't mentioned my HTC Vive.  I got it a few weeks ago.  It is goddamned incredible. The motion controls, the walking around in VR.  There is a pretty cool zombie shooter that I've been playing called Hordzes.  Because I do not yet have stereopsis, VR is not as engaging or stimulating as it is for people with stereopsis--not by a long shot.  I think the level of stimulation that some people are able to achieve with VR opens the possibility of people getting PTSD from experiences in VR.  VR is a powerful medium that has the ability to give people experiences that they remember.  It sears memories into their brains, the stuff is so powerful.  To give you an idea of what I mean:

But the past few times I've been playing Hordze, I've been noticing that I'm finding it harder and trickier to not shit myself at times.  I can feel the 'oh shit' come and the electricity jumping through my arms and feel sudden clamminess on my arms and hands.  A real visceral response.  Not sure if that's just a testament to the immersion that the Vive is able to give to people with stereoblindness, or if it means that my vision is really improving and that I'm on the way to no longer being stereoblind.  I suspect the answer is that it's both.

The motion controls really are amazing, as they change from game to game.  There is an element of cheesiness because the motion controller I'm holding is light, but in the game I see this giant assault rifle that I can turn around and look at from all angles.  As they say, stereopsis really applies only to fairly close objects.  You don't really benefit from stereopsis when you're looking at mountains (although I'm sure there are still other advantages to looking at mountains with two eyes).  The stereopsis sweet spot is really up close, and I notice it particularly when I'm looking at my motion contollers in VR.  It's not true stereopsis, but it is definite a form of stereopsis that I'm experiencing.  I do get the impression that practicing this stereopsis experience, even in if it is at a low level, is helping me achieve my goal of stereopsis along with the other exercises I'm doing.  I feel like what I'm doing is working, and that feels good.

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