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Perception. 2001;30(1):115-24.

Distance perception within near visual space.

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Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition, UMR 5549 CNRS/UPS, Faculté de Médecine de Rangueil, 133 Route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse, France.


We investigated the perception of distance of visual targets with constant size and luminance presented between 20 and 120 cm from subjects' eyes. When retinal disparity cues were present, the subjects could reproduce very accurately the distance of a seen reference in this area. When only extraretinal information was available, distance perception was still correct for distances of 40 cm or less. However, distances beyond 60 cm were underestimated. When forced to evaluate the distance between a reference and themselves, e.g. when evaluating the absolute distance or half the distance or twice the distance of a reference, subjects used an egocentric plane of reference located on average 10.4 cm in front of their eyes. Measurements of binocular eye movements indicated a clear relationship between vergence angle and target distance. The egocentric plane of reference at 10.4 cm also corresponds to the maximum achievable vergence. These results suggest that ocular convergence can be used as a reliable cue for distance within the arm's reaching space.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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