Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972000 | Print ISBN: 9781412940818 | Online ISBN: 9781412972000| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
L. Gregory Appelbaum
Most of us take for granted our ability to see the world around us. Rarely do we take time to consider the remarkable accomplishments our visual system must achieve in order to deliver a highly organized and meaningful representation of the world for the purposes of navigating, manipulating, and understanding our environment. For instance, our visual system seems to effortlessly, and instantly, present us with a beautifully structured world that is composed of distinct objects located in three-dimensional (3-D) space from what is actually a sparse sampling of light projected onto the two-dimensional (2-D) surface on the back of our eyes. Appearances aside, however, visual experience is a highly constructive phenomenon that involves dynamic interaction between the visual stimulus and brain structures on a moment-to-moment basis. The fact that we are able to see a single tree in a forest, even though it shares a vast number of similarities with ...