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childeroland
09-25-2011, 01:56 AM
Is there a disorder where a person has difficulty judging the spatial relationships between things in his/her visual field? Either temporarily or permanently? Any help appreciated.

Selcaby
09-25-2011, 02:24 AM
Do you mean lack of depth perception? If so, yes, I have it. My condition is called strabismus or "lazy eye", and it's generally permanent.

If you want to know what it's like, shut one eye. That's how I see all the time; my brain concentrates on the input from one eye (usually the same one) and treats the other like peripheral vision. I wouldn't say things look two-dimensional to me, because that's not just about binocular vision; things like shadows and perspective also give plenty of clues. (Besides, my vision's always been like this, so I don't know what real 3D vision feels like.)

What it means to me is being very bad at ball games, being completely unable to "get" Magic Eye pictures, and finding 3D cinema totally pointless (it's the same viewing experience as 2D, but costing more and involving a silly pair of glasses, and more annoying because I'm constantly aware that I'm missing something).

Paul
09-25-2011, 02:25 AM
DRUNKENESS

Kateness
09-25-2011, 02:28 AM
Agreed with above. I have shit depth perception. With glasses, I can make a rough assumption. Without glasses, I'm useless.

Example - you know that test where you try to bring your index fingers together in front of you? I can't do it. Seriously. Just tried. My fingers missed by a good couple inches. I could do it a hundred times and if I managed to do it, it would be by chance alone.


Edit: Just wanted to add. The world is not flat to me. I don't see things in 2D. I just have no conceptual grasp of how far things are from each other. i.e. I can tell that one building is further away from me than another, but not by how much.

Paul
09-25-2011, 02:33 AM
Agreed with above. I have shit depth perception. With glasses, I can make a rough assumption. Without glasses, I'm useless.

Example - you know that test where you try to bring your index fingers together in front of you? I can't do it. Seriously. Just tried. My fingers missed by a good couple inches. I could do it a hundred times and if I managed to do it, it would be by chance alone.
Thanks

Selcaby
09-25-2011, 02:36 AM
Agreed with above. I have shit depth perception. With glasses, I can make a rough assumption. Without glasses, I'm useless.

Example - you know that test where you try to bring your index fingers together in front of you? I can't do it. Seriously. Just tried. My fingers missed by a good couple inches. I could do it a hundred times and if I managed to do it, it would be by chance alone.

I'm not so bad at that -- not perfect, but my fingers usually touch at least glancingly. But then, I can also do it with my eyes closed, so I think I'm doing it by proprioception rather than sight.

mirandashell
09-25-2011, 02:45 AM
Can I ask a question?

On a cloudy day, do you have a problem with telling how low or high the cloud layer is?

childeroland
09-25-2011, 02:49 AM
Thanks, guys.

Kateness
09-25-2011, 02:49 AM
Of whom are you asking that question? If it's me - I am absolutely unable to do so.

mirandashell
09-25-2011, 02:53 AM
Sorry Kate, that was to you and Selcaby.

Hmmm... I asked because I know someone that can't tell either but he's never mentioned having depth perception problems. So I was wondering if it was common or part of the same condition.

It surprised me the first time he asked how I could tell the cloud layer was low. Never occured me that not everyone could.

Kateness
09-25-2011, 02:55 AM
I can tell you there are clouds. I can't tell you if they're high or low.

I can tell you there are two buildings and that one is closer to me than the other. I can't tell you how far apart they are.

Selcaby
09-25-2011, 03:06 AM
I can tell when clouds are particularly high or low, but I have no idea what distances are involved.

I think being able to see the horizon makes it easier to tell.

mirandashell, can you actually look at clouds and estimate how high they are, numerically?

DancingMaenid
09-25-2011, 07:45 AM
I've had strabismus all my life, and to be honest, I can't really tell how bad my depth perception is. I've never experienced having "normal" eyesight, so I don't really have much of a comparison to go by. I don't feel like my eyesight causes me much difficulty in taking in my surroundings, or that my lack of depth perception is very severe, but how can I really know?

In some ways, I think growing up being used to looking at things with only one eye improved my ability to compensate. For example, apparently, if you cover one eye and try to pour water from one cup into another one, that's supposed to be tricky. I usually don't find it particularly hard (though I do have issues with pouring stuff, sometimes).

I feel like I can generally tell if clouds are high or low in the sky, or higher or lower than other clouds.

frimble3
09-25-2011, 09:48 AM
Sisters! I have it, too, all my life, as far as I know. Diagnosed in the third grade, when I was sent to the traveling optometrist because of my near-sightedness.
The cloud thing isn't that bad for me, I'm surrounded by mountains, so I judge by how much of them I can see. Like most stuff, it's a matter of accomodation, ít's easier to judge distances by how many objects are between me and the 'target', or shadows, and so forth.
I don't drive, because at speed it's harder to make those assessments.
What's kind of worrying is that at no time in the driver's testing process did anyone ask. I could be on the road with you right now!

Echoing the '3-D movies as waste of time' thing, although I love stereoscopic or 3-D photographs, with the little glasses. I can take the time to 'trick' my eyes into working together, and it's so cool when it happens. I bought a trail-biking magazine just because they had a 3-D issue!
(And don't ask about me and ball games - if it's hurtling through the air, it might as well be a Golden Snitch. Things like hockey, where the action is flat on the ground, less of a problem)

Anaximander
09-25-2011, 02:56 PM
Lazy eye would do it; obviously if one eye wanders then it'll play hell with parallax and depth perception. Alternatively, you could go with a form of dyspraxia, which involves inability to judge spatial relationships and tends to manifest in diminished co-ordination and spatial awareness, making the person clumsy.

ULTRAGOTHA
09-25-2011, 08:29 PM
Albinism does it, too. I've a friend who is albino and has two sisters who also are. Lack of pigment in the eyes results in a serious lack of depth perception. Their mother used to let them feel ahead of themselves when they were learning to walk to learn to tell the difference between a crack in the sidewalk and a step down. Or so says my friend.

Taking directions from someone who has bad eyesight and can't drive is interesting. "Go left at the end of the street and then turn right where the purple flyer is stapled to the utility pole". None of the three of them have ever been able to pass an eye test to get a driving license.

childeroland
09-25-2011, 10:43 PM
Hm. Had no idea about Albinism having that effect, or dyspraxia. Would dyspraxia or albinism sometimes picture of the world akin to Van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles?

mirandashell
09-25-2011, 10:45 PM
I can tell when clouds are particularly high or low, but I have no idea what distances are involved.

I think being able to see the horizon makes it easier to tell.

mirandashell, can you actually look at clouds and estimate how high they are, numerically?


Yeah, pretty much. The numbers come from knowing types of clouds and where they form in the three layers of the sky.

But usually it's things like how low the stratocumulus is. You know, the flat grey layer of cloud that usually produces all-day drizzle. I can tell how low or high that is. And also cumulus. How tall they are. Cirrus is more difficult cos that's just wisps of stuff.

KimJo
09-25-2011, 11:02 PM
I have problems with depth/distance perception as well, and no one's ever been able to tell me why. I'm also crap at spatial orientation; give me a puzzle piece and tell me to fit it into a puzzle, and it usually takes me four or five tries to get it oriented correctly to fit.

I can't really judge how far away things are, just whether they're far or near. It really sucks when I try to parallel park my car, because I can't tell how far I am from the cars in front of or behind me. (Once I'm in the space, I usually just move back and forth in tiny increments until I think I have it right.)

I have trouble with stairs, particularly going down, because I can't tell how far one stair is from the previous one.

I also have very little sense of where my body is in relation to anything else, which mucks me up with the parallel parking (can't judge how far I am from the curb) and often causes me to walk into things.

Siri Kirpal
09-27-2011, 06:43 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

My husband has lazy eye and has depth perception problems. He loves cloudy days because of the lack of glare. He learned to compensate early on and is good with tools and such like. In fact, he's better at those 2D spatial tests than most people are. However, catching things thrown at him and parallel parking are problems.

My Dad had the same problem--lazy eye. He could drive, but often preferred to have my Mom do it. He fancied himself a painter, but the lack of depth perception made his paintings lopsided.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Siri Kirpal
09-27-2011, 07:17 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name")

Oh, yeah, some other things:

My Dad and mother-in-law both had lazy eye and they both had absolutely miserable handwriting. Unfortunately, neither of them learned to use a computer. My husband's handwriting is legible by comparison, but he prefers to have me handwrite things.

My husband and my Dad were both accident prone as children, as was my baby brother, who also has lazy eye. But with time, they all adjusted. Both my brother and husband had eye exercises; my Dad did not and became legally blind in one eye.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

crunchyblanket
09-27-2011, 12:01 PM
I have dyscalculia, overlapping with dyspraxia, and my spatial awareness and depth perception are terrible. I'm learning to drive and it's causing major problems. I don't 'get' shapes and the way they fit together - I have to physically move them about to get a feel for it.

I can tell if a cow is small, or just far away, but I can't estimate the distance.

mirandashell
09-27-2011, 09:58 PM
I can tell if a cow is small, or just far away, but I can't estimate the distance.


Ah go on, go on, go on, go on, go on.......

Selcaby
09-28-2011, 03:56 AM
My handwriting is OK, and I never thought my lazy eye affected it at all.

I'm actually less short-sighted in the lazy eye than in the other one. But I still have trouble reading with it. Whenever I go to the optician I have to explain that it isn't that the letters are fuzzy, it's that I can't make my eye fix on the one I'm supposed to be looking at. Bigger letters are easier because there's a bigger target to fix on. If I ever lose the sight of my good eye, I'll be reading through the other one with a magnifying glass.

Ditto on the thing about going down stairs. I am usually happy with stairs because they're predictable, but I don't like steep slopes because I can't tell whether the place I want to put my foot is level or not. And I hate slippery surfaces. My personal hell would be a ski slope.

Aerial
09-28-2011, 09:50 PM
This has been a really informative discussion, guys. Thank you. My youngest daughter was born with severe lazy eye (both eyes) and though the misalignment has been corrected surgically, she still struggles with depth perception and a condition that causes her eyes to jerk if she covers one or concentrates too hard to try to focus. My husband and I have been concerned about whether she'll be able to get a driver's license, and it has been helpful to hear the experiences of adults who are living with it.

Aerial