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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2016 Jun 19;371(1697). pii: 20150264. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0264.

Recovering stereo vision by squashing virtual bugs in a virtual reality environment.

Author information

1
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0268, USA.
2
School of Optometry and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
3
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0268, USA School of Design and Human Engineering, UNIST, Ulsan 689-798, South Korea.
4
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0268, USA Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, University of Geneva, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.
5
School of Optometry and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA dlevi@berkeley.edu.

Abstract

Stereopsis is the rich impression of three-dimensionality, based on binocular disparity-the differences between the two retinal images of the same world. However, a substantial proportion of the population is stereo-deficient, and relies mostly on monocular cues to judge the relative depth or distance of objects in the environment. Here we trained adults who were stereo blind or stereo-deficient owing to strabismus and/or amblyopia in a natural visuomotor task-a 'bug squashing' game-in a virtual reality environment. The subjects' task was to squash a virtual dichoptic bug on a slanted surface, by hitting it with a physical cylinder they held in their hand. The perceived surface slant was determined by monocular texture and stereoscopic cues, with these cues being either consistent or in conflict, allowing us to track the relative weighting of monocular versus stereoscopic cues as training in the task progressed. Following training most participants showed greater reliance on stereoscopic cues, reduced suppression and improved stereoacuity. Importantly, the training-induced changes in relative stereo weights were significant predictors of the improvements in stereoacuity. We conclude that some adults deprived of normal binocular vision and insensitive to the disparity information can, with appropriate experience, recover access to more reliable stereoscopic information.This article is part of the themed issue 'Vision in our three-dimensional world'.

KEYWORDS:

amblyopia; perceptual learning; stereopsis; strabismus; virtual reality

PMID:
27269607
PMCID:
PMC4901458
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2015.0264
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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