A systematic comparison of static and dynamic cues for depth perception

Laurence P. Tidbury, Kevin R. Brooks, Anna R. O’Connor, Sophie M. Wuerger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


PURPOSE. A clinical diagnosis of stereoblindness does not necessarily preclude compelling depth perception. Qualitative observations suggest that this may be due to the dynamic nature of the stimuli. The purpose of this study was to systematically investigate the effectiveness of static and dynamic stereoscopic stimuli. METHODS. Stereoscopic stimuli were presented on a passive polarized stereoscopic monitor and were manipulated as follows: static disparity (baseline condition), dynamic disparity (change in z-location), change in stimulus pattern, change in z-location with pattern change, change in x-location (horizontal shift), a control (nil-disparity signal). All depth-detection thresholds were measured simultaneously using an adaptive four-alternative-forced-choice (4AFC) paradigm with all six conditions randomly interleaved. RESULTS. A total of 127 participants (85 women, 42 men; mean [SD] age, 21 [5] years) with visual acuity better than 0.22 logMAR in both eyes were assessed. In comparison to the static disparity condition, depth-detection thresholds were up to 50% lower for the dynamic disparity conditions, with and without pattern change (P < 0.001). The presence of a changing pattern in isolation (P = 0.71) or a horizontal shift (P = 0.41) did not affect the thresholds. CONCLUSIONS. Dynamic disparity information facilitates the extraction of depth in comparison to static disparity signals. This finding may account for the compelling perception of depth reported in individuals with no measurable static stereoacuity. Our findings challenge the traditional definition of stereoblindness and suggest that current diagnostic tests using static stimuli may be suboptimal. We argue that both static and dynamic stimuli should be employed to fully assess the binocular potential of patients when considering management options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3545-3553
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Binocular vision
  • Dynamic
  • Stereoacuity
  • Stereopsis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic comparison of static and dynamic cues for depth perception'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this