September 2019
Volume 19, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2019
Playing 3-dimensional (3D), but not 2D video games can improve stereoacuity in neurotypical observers.
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dennis Levi
    School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley.
    Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Roger W Li
    School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley.
Journal of Vision September 2019, Vol.19, 130a. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Dennis Levi, Roger W Li; Playing 3-dimensional (3D), but not 2D video games can improve stereoacuity in neurotypical observers.. Journal of Vision 2019;19(10):130a.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Bruce Bridgeman, who had been stereo-deficient due to strabismus all of his life, recovered stereoscopic vision after viewing the 3D movie Hugo (Bridgeman, 2014). He hypothesized that “sustained attention to varying high-disparity stereoscopic challenges in an engaging immersive environment” may have resulted in this remarkable improvement. Here we ask whether playing immersive 3D video games containing exaggerated binocular disparities, results in improved depth perception in observers with normal binocular vision. To address this question neurotypical young adults with limited video game experience were randomized into two groups. Group 1 (3DVG, n=12) played stereoscopic 3D first-person shooter video games for a total of 40 hours, 2 hours per session. Group 2 (2DVG, n=12) participants played the same video games but in 2D mode (no binocular disparity) over the same time course. Before and after 40 hours of video game play we measured the participants’ stereoacuity with static random dot stereograms (Patel et al., 2003) using the method of constant stimuli. The observers’ task was to determine whether a central square was in front or behind an outer reference square. Stereoacuity was defined as the disparity at the 84% correct response rate, obtained by fitting a Probit function. There was a significant improvement in stereoacuity for the 3DVG group (mean Pre:Post ratio = 1.5; p = 0.004), but not the 2DVG control group (mean Pre:Post ratio = 1; p = 0.92). Nine of the twelve participants in the 3DVG group showed improved stereoacuity, up to more than a factor of two. We conclude that playing immersive 3D videogames that contain disparities much larger than those generally encountered in natural scenes (Sprague et al., 2015), can result in improved stereoacuity. Notably, our most recent experiments (Li et al., 2018) have shown that 3D video games may also enhance stereoacuity in patients with amblyopia.

Acknowledgement: NEI Grant RO1EY020976 

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.