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Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist's Journey Into Seeing in Three Dimensions
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Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist's Journey Into Seeing in Three Dimensions

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  299 ratings  ·  63 reviews
When neuroscientist Susan Barry was fifty years old, she took an unforgettable trip to Manhattan. As she emerged from the dim light of the subway into the sunshine, she saw a view of the city that she had witnessed many times in the past but now saw in an astonishingly new way. Skyscrapers on street corners appeared to loom out toward her like the bows of giant ships. Tree ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Basic Books (first published May 5th 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 973)
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Laura
I'm strabismic like the author, tho my problems aren't as severe. While I've known all my life that I see differently than others, I never really knew why, how, and what it meant. Its amazing to learn all that, and mind blowing that there might literally be a an entire dimension out there that I'm not seeing!

Well written. She's a neurobiologist, but doesn't get bogged down in the science.
Laurie
When Susan Barry was an infant, she developed crossed eyes- strabisimus. When she was seven, she had surgery to correct them. They looked normal then. It wasn’t until she was in college that she realized that she didn’t have stereovision- the ability to see in three dimensions. Of course it was too late by then to do anything about it- the scientific community agreed that the cut off point for restoring stereovision was in infancy. She was way too old to change things; her brain could not be rem ...more
Molly
This book has the potential to be life changing. I picked it up after reading about it on amazon the week it came out. As a strabismic who lacks full depth perception, I was interested to hear of a woman who taught herself, through vision therapy, to see in 3D well after the "critical period" - what is believe to be about two years of age. Susan Barry saw in three dimensions for the first time at age 49. She relays her own experiences, and those of others, to make a compelling case for vision th ...more
Lorin Rivers
Dec 22, 2014 Lorin Rivers marked it as to-read
I WAS strabismic & stereo blind (almost corrected by glasses) as a result of a head injury as a teenager. I went to see an eye surgeon who's patients are overwhelmingly pediatric but who occasionally treats adults who have become so after puberty.

She was able to correct my strabismus surgically. After waking, it was disorienting at first and I experienced some odd visual distortion until my brain learned to interpret this bizarre new capacity to see in 3D. Most obvious was looking at a tabl
...more
Emily
I found the message of this book so exciting that it will be hard to review it qua book. It reads a bit like the disappointing memoir Remembering Smell, and I had already read the 2006 New Yorker article, Stereo Sue, which made me wonder about my vision. The book, which goes into much more detail, leaves me as convinced as a book (rather than a medical exam) could, that I do have this problem and that it is correctable.

The two conditions discussed in the book are strabismus (cross-eyedness) and
...more
Zombie Karin
May 05, 2012 Zombie Karin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Zombie Karin by: Josh
Finally--a book from the perspective of someone who has my crossed-eyed troubles and vision limitations. So much of what Barry said about her own experiences resonated with my own life story. From difficulty with sports with moving objects (7th grade tennis class--I'm looking at you) to attempts to make your crossed eyes less noticeable (being photographed from the left is a favorite of mine, though I would prefer to just never be photographed); it's all there.

And yet. The story is really how Ba
...more
Tanya
No one in our family is cross-eyed and stereo blind, but I got this book from the library because I wanted to know more about vision therapy. This account of the author's experience gives me so much hope in the plasticity of the brain and the potential for recovery (post-concussion). Even with 20/20 vision, there is so much more to seeing and being able to function and carry out activities of daily living. I wanted more information about some of the specific techniques, but understand why this c ...more
Jordan
I love this subject matter but could not get through the book. If I did not know she was a professor of neurobiology I would think she had not graduated high school. The writing is absolutely atrocious. Is this the same woman who wrote 50 shades of grey? No more commas for you ever...
Spotted obvious spelling and grammar errors about 5 pages in. Probably a good book but I am offended as a writer.
BTW apparently Princeton is basically a second tier art school.
Amanda Zeller
As a Developmental Optometrist, I recommend this book to all my patients. It has a lot to offer those with strabismus as well as those just wanting to learn about the workings of the visual system.

Sue Barry is truly inspiring. Every time I hear her speak, it reminds me why I do what I do, and encourages me to give my best to each and every patient.
Shauna Elias
I read this book at the recommendation of a doctor so that I could understand what my 9 year old sees and what he will be going through when he starts vision therapy next week. I recommend that teachers read this book so that when they have a student with vision issues they might have some understanding.
Amanda
While sitting in the waiting room at the eye doctor, a book on the reading materials table caught my eye. It was titled "Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist's Journey into Seeing in Three Dimensions." While waiting for my appointment, I glanced through the book and added it to my book list. Somewhat technical in the scientific language, it still provided a very interesting perspective on the continuum of vision and what can and cannot be done to improve the way people see.

Susan Barry was born cross-eyed
...more
Joseph Harris

When neuroscientist Susan Barry was fifty years old, she took an unforgettable trip to Manhattan. As she emerged from the dim light of the subway into the sunshine, she saw a view of the city that she had witnessed many times in the past but now saw in an astonishingly new way. Skyscrapers on street corners appeared to loom out toward her like the bows of giant ships. Tree branches projected upward and outward, enclosing and commanding palpable volumes of space. Leaves created intricate mosaics

...more
Brecken
Remarkably educational in a fun, story-filled memoir kind of a way. Susan Barry grew up with a vision deficit, and had to compensate in many unusual ways. But when she was nearing fifty she unexpectedly heard of a developmental optometrist that administered vision therapy. Through a year's worth of intense, focused therapy, it all paid off. Living in a world with stereopsis now she is able to appreciate the beauty and depth of life and the world we live in. As a vision therapist myself this stor ...more
Kelly
I liked this book mostly because I can relate to the author's strabismus and vision problems, and I've been thinking about doing vision therapy to try to correct my sight beyond what surgery and glasses have done for me. My mind was blown by some of the experiences she talked about and by the thought that I might not see in 3D myself (I really don't know, as I have only seen the way that I've always seen, and can't compare it to 3D vision..). I've never been able to see 3D movies or images in 3D ...more
Patrick
Amazon review:
When neuroscientist Susan Barry was 50 years old, she took an unforgettable trip to Manhattan. As she emerged from the dim light of the subway into the sunshine, she saw a view of the city that she had witnessed many times in the past but now saw in an astonishingly new way. Skyscrapers on street corners appeared to loom out toward her like the bows of giant ships. Tree branches projected upward and outward, enclosing and commanding palpable volumes of space. Leaves created intrica
...more
Jenna
Excellent topic, but the writing isn't top-notch and it isn't very well-organized. The book could have used a thorough revision from the publisher.

That said, I am very interested in this issue, possibly even obsessed, as I suffer amblyopia and had an eye patch for a short time when I was a child. After reading this book I believe that my stereovision is not perfect and I am interested in seeking therapy to correct this.

The book reads like a blog with a few scientific studies thrown in. Did you k
...more
Jennifer
So, I should start out by saying that my optometrist recommended this book to me.

Barry tells her own story of growing up cross-eyed, and without proper fusion or stereo-vision. It is well researched, well written, and astonishing.

I know that I have stereo-vision, mostly because I know I can pass those tests at the optometrist (though they are difficult), but I have fusion issues. Issues to such an extent that I cannot or maybe will not drive. My depth perception changes, so I can't tell how fa
...more
Lori
I'm so glad Barry wrote this book. Not only does she have the educational chops, as a neurologist, to contribute, but she also has her own experience as someone who has lived her entire life with strabismus. She was able, at almost 50 years old, to achieve binocular vision, something she'd taught her students shouldn't be possible for someone her age. She did me the great favor of summarizing many of the major studies that have been done on the subject and making them understandable. Her conditi ...more
Maria Holland
I picked this up from the laundry room (take a book, leave a book) because of the Temple Grandin endorsement on the front. It's definitely a book with a niche audience, but luckily I have lots of friends who study neuroscience so I know who to regift it to now :)
Tammy
Aug 05, 2014 Tammy rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tammy by: Eye Doctor
Shelves: self-help
This is the true story of Susan Barry, a neuroscientist, who had been cross-eyed and stereoblind since infancy. As a child she had several surgeries to correct her crossed eye so it looked straight ahead but it didn't solve the problem that caused her eye to cross in the first place. She had 20/20 vision in both eyes but they weren't aligned so her brain learned to suppress the image from one eye to prevent double vision. She thought her vision was normal until one day when she was sitting in a ...more
Elizabeth Olson
A gripping first-person account of a neurologist's learning to see three-dimensionally, after a lifetime of non-stereoscopic vision. Intriguing and inspiring.
Susanne
May 03, 2014 Susanne marked it as books-i-quit-reading
I didn't hate this book, but my son's issues aren't quite the same as Barry's, and the prose was dry enough that I moved on to other books.
Nan
As someone who has been through vision therapy, I found it fascinating to read a scientist's view point (there's a pun!).
Linda Lee
Excellent book for those who deal with crossed-eyes and stereoblindness issues.
Annie
What a fascinating book! I had trouble putting it down. Susan Barry describes her journey from being a cross-eyed strabismic to a person with normal stereoscopic vision. Now I understand why a friend from long ago who is strabismic was such a terrible driver when I rode with her. Now I, who have always had stereoscopic vision, look at the world with a new appreciation of the beauty around me. I think everyone should read this book, from strabismics to optometrists, from people who know strabismi ...more
Charlotte
As one who has amblyopia (lazy eye) thus poor depth perception, I was fascinated when I heard the author, neuroscientist Susan Barry, on Public Radio describe her challenges with strabismus (crossed eyes) and how she gained stereoptic vision as a middle-aged adult through vision therapy, a non-invasive exercise program for her eyes. She mixes the science - often challenging long-held theories about vision and the brain - and the personal experience in a very readable format that should give hope ...more
Amber
I loved this book! My daughter went through vision therapy at age 3.5 for convergence insufficiency, problems with her vestibular-ocular reflex and midline issues. While this book focuses on a different vision problem, the explanation of the visual system and the techniques used in vision therapy were both fascinating and educational. While vision therapy was life-changing for my daughter, I didn't really understand the mechanics of her issues or of the therapy that resolved them. I do now. Two ...more
Deb
As a parent of a child in vision therapy to develop stereopsis, it is an interesting read.
Kris
I learned of this book in a Discover magazine review. It was a fascinating look at the author's vision problems - she had surgery to correct crossed eyes as a child and never developed stereo vision. Her personal story, combined with her explanation of scientific studies was very interesting (although I confess that I skimmed through some of the very scientific bits). Through vision therapy with a specialized optometrist, she was able to retrain her vision so that she gained stereo vision at age ...more
Sarah
I had my first (knowing) experience of stereopsis at the age of 36 - it lasted 3 days. I can't help but identify with the author's experience of wandering around the amazing, solid, spacioius, three-dimensional world just looking at stuff and just being awestruck at the amazingness of it all (words can't do it justice, hence resorting to things like 'amazingness').
So, on the to do list - find time, money and orthoptist, because I want the world to look that wonderful again!
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