Fixing my gaze: A scientist journey into seeing in three dimensions, by Susan R. Barry

Fixing my gaze book cover

Stereoblinds lack depth perception; they are unable to see in 3D because of some disorder like strabismus. It is simple to say but, what does it really mean? Talking about perceptions may be difficult. For example, are you sure you perceive the world in the same way the others do? As Prof. Barry tell us, Dr. Frederick Brock ---the most influential early optometrist in treating strabismus--- understood strabismics well because his very first patient was himself. However, Susan Barry's book manages to explain how stereo-vision works and how it develops by eye training, even introducing the basis of neuronal plasticity, in a clear way for everyone. Illustrated with figures and example experiments to try your sight, it becomes engaging and easy to read. Prof. Barry achieves this by explaining her personal experience with strabismus from childhood and school crossing to the acquisition of 3D vision in the adulthood.

This book reveals how some scientific works ---or even a whole scientific field--- are sometimes ignored. While papers about treatments to acquire 3D vision in the adulthood exist since the nineteenth century, most ophthalmologist have ignored them until recent times. Including a commented bibliography for each chapter, this book popularizes science; it is making the society to move on. In fact, there is a before and after this book for optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Being stereo-blind myself, after reading the book, not only I have understood many things about my vision across life, but also my vision is improving just thanks to the knowledge of how it works. It is amazing how a book can change your visual sense. Susan Barry overflows enthusiasm in such a way that ---together with the advent of 3D screens to surround us in many technical gadgets--- after reading the book many will want to find an optometrist specialized on 3D vision (the stereo-blinds) or become one (anyone).

Written as an assignment for the course Writing in the Sciences". Thanks to my peer editors and Dr. Kristin Sainani for the great course.