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Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2019 Mar;39(2):66-85. doi: 10.1111/opo.12607.

The prevalence and diagnosis of 'stereoblindness' in adults less than 60 years of age: a best evidence synthesis.

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Faculte de Psychologie et Sciences de l'Education, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
Campus Biotech, Geneva, Switzerland.
School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, USA.



Stereoscopic vision (or stereopsis) is the ability to perceive depth from binocular disparity - the difference of viewpoints between the two eyes. Interestingly, there are large individual differences as to how well one can appreciate depth from such a cue. The total absence of stereoscopic vision, called 'stereoblindness', has been associated with negative behavioural outcomes such as poor distance estimation. Surprisingly, the prevalence of stereoblindness remains unclear, as it appears highly dependent on the way in which stereopsis is measured.


This review highlights the fact that stereopsis is not a unitary construct, but rather implies different systems. The optimal conditions for measuring these varieties of stereoscopic information processing are discussed given the goal of detecting stereoblindness, using either psychophysical or clinical stereotests. In that light, we then discuss the estimates of stereoblindness prevalence of past studies.


We identify four different approaches that all converge toward a prevalence of stereoblindness of 7% (median approach: 7%; unambiguous-stereoblindness-criteria approach: 7%; visual-defect-included approach: 7%; multiple-criteria approach: 7%). We note that these estimates were derived considering adults of age <60 years old. Older adults may have a higher prevalence. Finally, we make recommendations for a new ecological definition of stereoblindness and for efficient clinical methods for determining stereoblindness by adapting existing tools.


amblyopia; stereoblindness; stereopsis; stereopsis tests; strabismus

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