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Wired for 3D

From the dawn of time human beings have been wired for 3D. As predators, we have two eyes spaced slightly apart on the front of our head, allowing us to drink in the same visual scene from two slightly different angles. Our brain receives these two visual images, one from each eye, and combines them into a single three-dimensional picture having depth; we "see" in 3D because of our stereo, or binocular, visual system (see Figure 3-1).

Through a relatively large binocular field of vision we're able to quickly perceive the physical, three-dimensional world around us. Our eyes and brain work in unison to allow us to see opportunity and threats instantly, which must have been a particularly handy skill in primitive times when it was necessary to hunt for food and hide from enemies as a matter of survival. Although we no longer struggle to stay alive on a daily basis the way our ancestors did, our 3D vision nonetheless remains essential in our modern, everyday life.


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