Binocular coordination in response to stereoscopic stimuli

Liversedge, Simon Paul orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8579-8546, Holliman, Nicolas S. and Blythe, Hazel I. (2009) Binocular coordination in response to stereoscopic stimuli. In: Stereoscopic Displays and Applications XX, 19-21 January 2009.

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Humans actively explore their visual environment by moving their eyes. Precise coordination of the eyes during visual scanning underlies the experience of a unified perceptual representation and is important for the perception of depth. We report data from three psychological experiments investigating human binocular coordination during visual processing of stereoscopic stimuli.In the first experiment participants were required to read sentences that contained a stereoscopically presented target word. Half of the word was presented exclusively to one eye and half exclusively to the other eye. Eye movements were recorded and showed that saccadic targeting was uninfluenced by the stereoscopic presentation, strongly suggesting that complementary retinal stimuli are perceived as a single, unified input prior to saccade initiation. In a second eye movement experiment we presented words stereoscopically to measure Panum's Fusional Area for linguistic stimuli. In the final experiment we compared binocular coordination during saccades between simple dot stimuli under 2D, stereoscopic 3D and real 3D viewing conditions. Results showed that depth appropriate vergence movements were made during saccades and fixations to real 3D stimuli, but only during fixations on stereoscopic 3D stimuli. 2D stimuli did not induce depth vergence movements. Together, these experiments indicate that stereoscopic visual stimuli are fused when they fall within Panum's Fusional Area, and that saccade metrics are computed on the basis of a unified percept. Also, there is sensitivity to non-foveal retinal disparity in real 3D stimuli, but not in stereoscopic 3D stimuli, and the system responsible for binocular coordination responds to this during saccades as well as fixations.

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