In Chapter One, the history of the understanding of human binocular vision and S3D from ancient times to the Victorian Era is discussed.
Euclid, the Greek mathematician included theorems that detailed concepts relating to the fact that we perceive a slightly different perspective in each eye as far back as the 4th century BCE in his Treatise on Optics.
Two hundred years later, the Roman physician Galen contributed further to the understanding of human binocular vision in his treatise On the use of the different parts of the Human body.
Leonardo DaVinci, in his 1651 Treatise on Painting writes ”
“Painters often despair of being able to imitate Nature, from observing, that their pictures have not the same relief, nor the same life, as natural objects have in a looking-glass, though they both appear on a plain surface. “
“It is impossible that objects in painting should appear with the same relief as those in the looking-glass, unless we only look at them with one eye.”
In the 1838 work by Sir Charles Wheatstone entitled Contributions to the Physiology of Vision. –Part the First. On some remarkable and hitherto unobserved, Phenomena of Binocular Vision, Wheatstone laments DaVinci missing the connection between binocular vision and stereopsis, commenting on this diagram found in DaVinci’s treatise:
Had LEONARDO DA VINCI taken, instead of a sphere, a less simple figure for the purpose of his illustration, a cube for instance, he would not only have observed that the object obscured from each eye a different part of the more distant field of view, but the fact would also perhaps have forced itself upon his attention, that the object itself presented a different appearance to each eye. He failed to do this, and no subsequent writer within my knowledge has supplied the omission; the projection of two obviously dissimilar pictures on the two retinæ when a single object is viewed, while the optic axes converge, must therefore be regarded as a new fact in the theory of vision. Writes Wheatstone.