Visual limits of the human brain and the visual processing time is quite evident. This why animals have camouflage skin, humans get headaches at trade shows and why video or game players will be the fighter pilots of the future.
There are many theories and why this is, one good paper on the subject is; modeling visual latencies, masking and synchronization: by G. Bugmann and J. G. Taylor. Some other questions that one would have in reviewing such data would be whether the problem occurs at the eye or within the brain. Or is there a problem with the communication between the two or is there so much information involved in interpreting the data while the eye is focusing on the objects definition and determining it's distance, size, shape, weight, etc. that the brain is working very quickly using previous experience and historical data from memory to put together the pieces while simultaneously it registers the thought? And when you consider all this data coming in and being processed it is actually a wonder the brain can process it all this fast anyway? It has been said that the brain spends up to 45% of its random access memory in the visual section of the brain. For the brain to work faster than it does with the visual information you might need a better or different type of vision.
Perhaps a system which takes objects of little importance and simply makes them less defined (augmented reality) and those of more importance will then get the required scrutiny freeing up the RAM in the brain so there is less information to process, meaning some of the work that is being done, is eliminated since it is not important, this would also allow for additional free space for thinking about what one does with the rest of the information. Also meaning quicker response time from brain to muscle to action. This could be tested very easily in Virtual Reality, where the environment is artificial and certain objects were made to be gray scale, while the game player would learn that those gray scales contain information of no importance so as to not focus on them. Then once the person was proficient at whatever task was being performed in the VR, they could put on a set of sunglasses, which also blocked out the unimportant information in the real world. At this point the individual with new training and wearing such a device and I use sun glasses only because there is no such device other than the HUD systems used in aerospace or the new military gear to be used in future wars battlespaces in the net-centric fusionary world of blue force-red force tracking.
Once the participant is ready to take on the real world with the new eye assisted gear, the over all field of vision could be increased to include 360 degree information, without over taxing the brain. It would only be a matter of getting use to the thought of having eyes in the back of your head, like your third grade teacher, who always know when you were up to something. With the proper attachments you would be super human in both the real world and the Virtual Reality World. Of course you would need to practice using these devices because seeing behind you is not a human characteristic. So our evolutionary process did not develop in such a way as to account for this. Yet with the freed up allocated space in the brain used for processing the visual data, you should be able to more than compensate for the new skill and increased unusual data set.
It would certainly be interesting if some sports were played with surround a sound vision, such as a basketball game, soccer, Tour de France, Hockey, etc. Since mankind has been at the top of the food chain for a while, the eyes facing forward like other species of hunters is not unique. If mankind was a prey species then we would be much more apt to be constantly looking over our shoulder and probably have evolved in such a way as to have our eyes on the far edges of our skull to see behind us too. Since the eyes focus and cross in front of us, we see the worked differently and have additional abilities to judge distance, even though one could argue if they had ever been rear ended by an oriental member of our species at an intersection or on the highway? Although that is not very PC, no one can deny it is not totally apropos, true and somewhat funny. Think about it.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs