Building natural vision systems

We are profoundly visual creatures. From the first eyespots in unicellular organisms which could only sense day from night, we have evolved a visual system that can sense and exploit the optic array – the pencils of light rays converging on each point in space from different directions – to its full potential, churning out our percept of the visual world, with its changing configurations of people, places, and things. This visual percept, in turn, forms the fundamental basis for our concept of the world and how we interact with it – whether we are a child navigating a playground or an astronomer navigating the farthest reaches of space. Can we build machines that see like we do?