Increasing the signal strength through short and long-term potentiation

A few recent posts have gotten me fired up about the idea of potentiation and how it’s probably the neural mechanism responsible for what we generally describe as merging double vision by looking intently.

The thing is, it’s not just about merging double or multiple images. In fact, it’s more about letting the brain filter out the parts you don’t want to be bothered with, and emphasize the parts you do want to see.

Actually, I think this how I survived so long with my drastic undercorrection. Sure, text was mostly unreadable, but I could see simple shapes even if they were small and distant.

Think fighter pilot vision. You make the most of your current acuity and focus by letting the brain filter out the information.

And if anything, the brain maybe impacts the eyes positively as well, improving the actual focus.

By the way, I don’t like trying this for near vision. Anytime I did, it caused more strain for some reason. Anyone else had a similar experience?

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I love these types of topics! The brain is very good at filling in gaps and selecting information without your consciousness ever aware of it. Most people are unaware that they have a visual blind spot in each eye where the nerve cell fibers route inward forming the optic nerve. A more scary phenomenon is neglect syndrome where stroke victims don’t realize a huge portion of their world is missing, and they brush half their teeth, wash half their face and swallow half the food in their mouth. But unlike filling in missing information, I feel this is just a change in the information.

I definitely think you are right in that neural potentiation is responsible for “merging” of double vision. But unlike blur adaptation where there is testable deficits, I think that the double vision becoming selected out is just a rewiring that is necessary. If the brain learns to see the world one way that is projected on the back of the retina and then the eyes feed it slightly different information, it has to relearn this change. Through staring I can get rid of that double vision after a minute, but then it comes back if I try to notice it again. But then there’s the long term adaptation to it which I can no longer find that double vision again. I would love to hear from someone with camera/lens knowledge, but my theory is that diopter power lenses change the size of the image projected on the back of the retina so it goes from a smaller size with higher power lenses to a larger size with lower power lenses and the brain is now having to get rid of its memory of the smaller image projection through potentiation. I’m really curious about the shape of the eye changing as well since elongated eyes have a larger image projected on the back of the retina. But I’d imagine that type of adaption occurs much slower and isn’t even noticeable.

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