This classic work on cyclopean perception has influenced a generation of vision researchers, cognitive scientists, and neuroscientists and has inspired artists, designers, and computer graphics pioneers. In Foundations of Cyclopean Perception first published in and unavailable for years , Bela Julesz traced the visual information flow in the brain, analyzing how the brain combines separate images received from the two eyes to produce depth perception. Julesz developed novel tools to do this: random-dot stereograms and cinematograms, generated by early digital computers at Bell Labs. These images, when viewed with the special glasses that came with the book, revealed complex, three-dimensional surfaces; this mode of visual stimulus became a paradigm for research in vision and perception. This reprint edition includes all 48 color random-dot designs from the original, as well as the special 3-D glasses required to view them. Foundations of Cyclopean Perception has had a profound impact on the vision studies community.
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Bela Julesz. The historical study of stereoscopic depth perception was punctuated by two great leaps forward. The first came with the invention of the stereoscope by Sir Charles Wheatstone in and his subsequent investigations of how simple line drawings could produce stereopsis, fusion, and rivalry.
The second came with the invention of the computer generated random-dot stereogram by Bela Julesz in and his subsequent investigations of how random textures with no monocularly visible forms could produce surface undulations and floating shapes that popped out of the page.
The random-dot stereogram embodied a new way of thinking about visual processing in which stimuli were conceived and created with particular mathematical and statistical properties in order to study the brain as an organ that processes information. With the groundbreaking work of Julesz and his contemporaries, computer science, information theory, and experimental psychology were brought together in a new approach to understanding vision.
Although the white noise patterns of Julesz proved somewhat less popular than the narrow-band sine gratings of Robson and his ilk, random- dot stereograms and cinematograms remain important tools in vision science today, almost 4 decades since their invention. The fact that stereoscopic depth can emerge from left and right eye images that are themselves apparently flat and featureless had been well known to photogrammetrists, who for years had been fusing aerial stereo photos of tree covered hillsides to create topographic maps.
Julesz did more than just publicize this startling fact to the vision community. After a decade of producing and investigating these patterns that were at once mathematically defined scientific tools and creatively inspired works of art, Julesz summarized his work in a book titled Foundations of Cyclopean Perception.
In ten chapters he describes the concept of cyclopean perception and applies it to a wide variety of visual processes and perceptions, and throughout he illustrates his points with computer generated images. Also new to the reprinted edition is a new preface written by Julesz just days before his death in December Otherwise, the book is a facsimile edition of the original publication.
A wide range of phenomena are illustrated by nearly stereograms, printed as side by side black and white figures throughout the text, and in an appendix as beautifully reproduced anaglyphic versions for those who find free fusion a challenge.
This collection of images is an historical treasure that any vision scientist will want to own. Many of the figures pop out immediately. Studies have shown dramatic learning effects in the time taken to see the more complex of these figures.
For binocular vision and stereopsis, this is generally held to be primary visual cortex, where the left and right monocular streams are combined by binocular, disparity-tuned neurons. Similarly, the random-dot cinematogram presents forms defined by the relative motions of picture elements, requiring relatively high level processes to be seen.
The concept of designing stimuli to study particular mechanisms of vision, articulated and illustrated in Foundations , has had a profound impact on Vision Science in the decades since its first publication. Certainly, Julesz was at the right place at the right time- Bell Labs in the s- to capitalize on the great power of computers to render any image that math can describe. You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. Please enable scripts and reload this page.
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