Perception of Visual Space

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The image in your eye, like a photograph or a precise figurative painting, is a two-dimensional projection of the world. But detecting the third dimension of that world is important for understanding the shapes of objects, as well as the distances of everything around us. Our forward-pointing eyes give us the luxury of binocular stereoscopic vision, but if you close one eye, you can still perceive distance on the basis of information in a single image, particularly from linear perspective. How do our brains interpret perspective and integrate it with stereo vision? In this lecture, as in the history of this field, science is interwoven with the story of art and architecture.

Sir Colin Blakemore is Professor of Neuroscience & Philosophy in the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at Oxford. From 2003-7 he was Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council. His research has focused on many aspects of vision, development and plasticity of the brain. He has been President of the British Science Association, the British Neuroscience Association, the Physiological Society and the Royal Society of Biology. He is strongly committed to engagement between science and the public. He is a frequent broadcaster and he writes for the national and international press.