Vision systems give animals two, somewhat different, kinds of information. The first is a model of the world they see. Our vision systems tell us where free space is (and so, where we could move); what is big and what is small; and what is smooth and what is scratchy.
Research in computer vision has now produced very powerful reconstruction methods. These methods can recover rich models of complex worlds from images and from video, and have had tremendous impact on everyday life. If you have seen a CGI film, you have likely seen representations recovered by one of these methods.
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