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Seeing a string of details
#1
Seeing a string of details
http//blog.iblindness.org/2011-08/seeing-string-details/

I want to clarify how to look at adjacent details better. I described this specific method in my last blog post about <a href="http//blog.iblindness.org/2011-08/improving-vision-looking-adjacent-details/">looking at adjacent details</a>. The idea here is to learn to shift your attention the shortest distance possible, corresponding to the smallest possible eye movement. And the shortest distance possible is going to be the distance between the two smallest points you can perceive that are right next to each other, or almost no distance at all. So basically you're working your way through a string of details. It's a string formed by a single line of pixels, or dots. The string isn't necessarily straight, because of course the things you look at come in all shapes. As you work your way along the string, you are trying to not skip over any of the dots of detail. So each detail is immediately next to the previous one.

As you do this, you'll find that it can only be done when you look at small enough details. Being able to do that is just an adjustment in perception, and it's done by conscious choice. It may take some time to do it very effectively, over weeks and months, but right away you should notice that perceiving blur as countless tiny details does make a difference in what it looks like. It won't look better at first. It will look worse, more confusing, with multiple scattered images. But that's where you have to start. It's simply about being honest with yourself about exactly what you see, down to each piece.

As I've described before, you need to consider everything, whether it's blur or a clear image, as made up of tons of tiny details or pixels.

You can practice this with a close up object in your hand, if you're nearsighted. Distance makes no difference. The right way to see is done the same close up as at a distance.

If you find your attention jumping away, remember that the large jump is directly caused by your eyes making too large of a movement. As a parallel, consider what happens when you try to hold the tip of your finger just above the table surface in front of you while keeping your finger as still as possible, with an absolute minimum of trembling. If you tense your hand up to try to force it still, it will tremble a certain amount. You will find that the only way to get your finger as still as possible is by relaxing your hand as much as possible. If you do so, you will notice it trembling far less than what it was when you clenched your hand. The eyes are no different. The movements can be small if you calm them. This is a specific application of where and how to apply the concept of relaxation. It's confusing or misleading when we talk about "relaxing the eyes" unless we nail it down to a specific example like this.

After a short moment you can jump to another string. And you're creating the path of the string as you follow it, so it can be anything and anywhere. You aren't necessarily tracing the outline of anything or following any particular color, but moving in any direction as the string changes colors.

Jumping to another spot is a normal part of seeing. But in order to make jumping an effective part of your visual process, you need to learn how to move your attention through a small connected area/string without jumps.

What I'd like to do is get this down to a complete guide with not many missing pieces. It would include lots of things saying that if this happens, do this. Or if this happens, do this. I think this can be done, but I need to gather more feedback from people working with this to get a better idea of the problems people encounter.

There are tons of vision improvement programs out there that are sold or taught today, many heavily based on the Bates method or taught pretty much exactly as it's laid out in Bates's material. But so far as I've seen, none are presenting it anything close to what I'm trying to do, so there isn't a whole lot of data to work with yet. Teaching programs are based on analyzing the results of a large number of cases. So I'm just kind of winging it here and trying not to jump to conclusions.
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#2
I find that there is nothing wrong with your, um, watchamacallit, theory? I did it for some time when reading and it opened some kind of lock in the control of the eyes. I could sense better when the eyes were incapable of tiny shifts and they jumped too far. This misbehaving was made obvious while doing "the string".

And I think it's a very good way to start looking with your mind (attention) and not with your eyes.

As I am a pianist, I see this "string of pixels" thing very universal. It's not just about seeing. If you want to perform a fast, even scale or another inhumanly fast passage, you can do it relaxed if your mind can shift through very small units of time. If you can do it the way you described, it can be controlled and easy. Well, I guess one way to obtain the "relaxation" needed in general could be done even with playing an instrument. Doing the impossible with it.

OK, back to seeing. The whole idea why I wanted to write this post was that I'd like to give the trainers a variation of "the string" excercise. As I got bored of reading stuff with "the string" method (because it's pretty slow, the scenery don't change much), I started doing it so that I checked out the first letter of every word doing "the string", and then made a bigger jump to the next word, and continuing this way. That way I don't get bored, find new information and still train a good thing simultaneosly.
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#3
David, I really like this post. A while ago I borrowed the old 1950s "follow the bouncing ball" (across words in a song to sing) scheme to get my attention to move and leave the previous point behind, which I have had a lot of difficulty with. Then your pixels and explosion of details got me doing this with smaller points and ones nearer each other. This new post takes it to the next step of tiny shifts along an adjacent set of points.

The 2 difficulties I seem to still have are 1) feeling totally comfortable focusing on only 1 point at a time -- I sometimes get more and more uneasy the longer I do not try to see everything at once. Of course, the more calm and centered I am, the less this is a problem and the more I trust that my peripheral vision will pick up anything I need to see. Difficulty 2) was alluded to above, and I actually think it's related to the first -- it's often really a struggle for me to let go of the point I'm looking at when I shift to something else. I'm practicing and noticing, but this one is like the bad habit that just won't die. I'm guessing it has to do with trust and feeling safe, so I'm working on those too. Thanks, as always for your efforts (and results!) -- you have helped me a lot and continue to do so.
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#4
Thanks a lot for the description of the method, Dave.It's very well explained and finaly gave me a clarity about looking at details and short eye movements.
Today I tried to practice it.I found the following difficulties:
- to find a point which is small enough, like the tip of a pin, in the whole mess of blur in the distant objects.I take the smallest parts of an object that I can distinguish and shift between them. Maybe when vision is clearer, these points become more and at the same time, smaller.
- to make a really short movement-my movements are long, there is distance between the points.
- after a short time of looking at the details of one object, my eyes unconsciously shift to another object or to another part of the same object.
I can't say if there is a change in my vision. It, as always, fluctuates.Sometimes I see blur, sometimes-double or multiple images, sometimes there are clear flashes.
I'll continue practicing and will write about the results.
All the best
Kalina
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#5
kalina,

Your vision is blurry because you're looking at too large of an area as one point. You can't wait until your vision is better before you start working on that. You have it backwards. You don't have to find the point and be certain that you found it. You just have to imagine that you're doing it, and you've done it as soon as you've imagined it. That's it.

How do you know it's difficult to make a shorter movement? How do you know you aren't already doing it sometimes? It's only a matter of moving your attention. With small movements you can't feel your eyes moving, and you can't see your visual field shift. So you won't have any direct evidence that your moving your attention. People with normal vision don't feel or see their attention moving with all the tiny shifts. That would be incredibly distracting.

It's supposed to be disorienting. You have to work at it, because you've got habits built up that will try to keep overriding it. If you just shift between two large areas that you can distinguish, you aren't really helping anything.

I'm not picking on you specifically, but what you say is probably what many people are thinking.
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#6
For me the biggest diffulty seems to bring the eyes to perform more saccadic movements, which should come automatically and subconsciously.
When I imagine, that a letter in the 20/20 line needs 4 saccadic movements to be seen correctly at a distance of 20 feet, even the small movement along a string of details seems to be a big jump in comparison.
Can the continued practice to see a string of details activate the much smaller saccadic movements or does this need another kind of practice?
The second problem concerns the speed of the eye-movements; they have to be really very fast in order to give a whole clear image. I can't really imagine to willingly bring my eyes to such a speed and at the same time keep them relaxed.
But perhaps its just a question of simply doing and not trying to analize too much...
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#7
Nini Wrote:For me the biggest diffulty seems to bring the eyes to perform more saccadic movements, which should come automatically and subconsciously.
When I imagine, that a letter in the 20/20 line needs 4 saccadic movements to be seen correctly at a distance of 20 feet, even the small movement along a string of details seems to be a big jump in comparison.
Can the continued practice to see a string of details activate the much smaller saccadic movements or does this need another kind of practice?
The second problem concerns the speed of the eye-movements; they have to be really very fast in order to give a whole clear image. I can't really imagine to willingly bring my eyes to such a speed and at the same time keep them relaxed.
But perhaps its just a question of simply doing and not trying to analize too much...

Move at such a slow pace along a string that you're barely moving at all, so that it would take a long moment to reach from one end of a letter to the other. But you keep moving at a fairly smooth pace, so you are moving. Forget about how many shifts you do. It's about placing your attention and moving your attention, and your attention doesn't keep track of the shifts. Start a new string with everything you look at.
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#8
David Wrote:Seeing a string of details
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://blog.iblindness.org/2011-08/seeing-string-details/">http://blog.iblindness.org/2011-08/seei ... g-details/</a><!-- m -->
...

This is like the sense of touch with the fingertips !
It is the same principle, because they are both nerve functions that operates in a similar manner.

I think it is good you try to nail it down in an easy way,
because people are puzzled and don't really know what the feeling is and why you need to relax.
Yes, it is that crazy in this society that people don't even know how being relaxed feels like, it is incredible, most people have not enough inner self awareness. The demands in our society have destroyed it. Thus it is not so amazing that the world can be crazy sometimes. Wee need to find our roots.

I myself has written some summary in a post on my blog just in order for me to grasp everything in a short concise and clear context, I improve it overtime every now and then such that it becomes more and more concise, instead of haveing all knowhow in an endless mass of literature that just makes you feel frustrated and that might not seriously lead people directly to their goals.

I think I have figured out why I got myopic, and found a feedback loop to improve it.
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#9
David Wrote:Move at such a slow pace along a string that you're barely moving at all, so that it would take a long moment to reach from one end of a letter to the other. But you keep moving at a fairly smooth pace, so you are moving. Forget about how many shifts you do. It's about placing your attention and moving your attention, and your attention doesn't keep track of the shifts. Start a new string with everything you look at.

This is a very good advice, thanks.
It works much better for me than Bate's/E.Lierman's suggestion to look at each letter only for a fraction of a second and blink after each letter.
When I look at each letter for a longer time and try to slowly follow its contours ( as far as I can make them out), it will suddenly become very clear - sometimes only for a very short moment, sometimes all the letters will ckear up, so that I can easily read them one after the other.
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#10
Thanks a lot. I find this method particularly helpful when combined with swinging.
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#11
vst Wrote:Thanks a lot. I find this method particularly helpful when combined with swinging.
Do you mean as different excercises or can you swing by moving along a string?
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