Living in a World Transformed: Perceptual and Performatory Adaptation to Visual Distortion
By Hubert Dolezal
Originally published in 1982, Living in a World Transformed is now back in print. Dolezal’s book features his experiences wearing up-down reversing prisms attached to a football helmet while living in a Greek coastal village. Along with other daily activities, he hiked and water skied. His first study, the “Prism Study,” was an explanation of adaptation phenomena. The author sought to describe the change in how the visual system interacts with the motor systems when the available optical information incorrectly specifies the location of places, objects, people, and events. The second study, the “Tube Study,” seeks to show how resourceful people can be under another unique condition of survival: living in a confined visual world by severely restricting the normal field of view. The results and analysis argue that such studies produce perceptual confusions and errors in action that have frequently been confounded with, and attributed to, the optical transformation rather than to the restriction of the field of view.
His descriptions provide useful data for a variety of investigators, such as psychology and philosophy graduate students and professionals interested in vision, learning, and epistemology. Dolezal’s data have implications for sleep research and for astronauts who experience sickness from the effects of microgravity while in space.
Hubert Dolezal earned his PhD at Cornell University, did 3 years of postdoctoral research and teaching at MIT, and worked with the USAF and NASA as a consultant. His primary work over the past 20 years has been teaching perceptive parenting and caregiving principles to parents, students, teachers, and staff for social service organizations and schools for special needs children. He is a professor of psychology at Northeastern Illinois University and is a licensed clinical psychologist.
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