Eyes Wide Open

Eyes Wide Open

“Your eyes capture a breathtaking amount of information, but that’s only where sight begins.  A full third of your brain is devoted to processing that information.  Known as ‘the visual cortex’, this third of your brain receives every second up to a billion signals from each of your retinas, two billion total.  (The rest of your body can send your brain only an additional billion.)  Your visual cortex creates from this torrent of two-dimensional data the three-deimnstional experience we call sight, a truly miraculous feat.  You see with your brain, not your eyes … coded in the visual cortex are a hierarchical set of increasingly complex filters or rules that you learn as a developing child … sight is much more than meets the eye.  It is our thoughts, our memories, our emotions, our judgments, our experiences our instincts.  All of these aspects of who your are literally color what you see,   and what you see shapes the contours of these diverse aspects of your life.” (pp. 9-16, Eyes Wide Open)

This from a child actor who played “Weasel” on Saved by the Bell: New Class.  Who graduated Harvard at age 19 with a degree in mathematics and computer science.  Who clerked for Sandra Day O’Connor after graduating Harvard Law School.  And who lost his sight due to retinitis pigmentosa but in doing so, developed tremendous insight into vision.

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