December 2022
Volume 22, Issue 14
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2022
Binocular cues to depth and distance enhance tolerance to visual and kinesthetic mismatch
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Xue Teng
    Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, York University
  • Laurie M. Wilcox
    Centre for Vision Research, York University
  • Robert S. Allison
    Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, York University
    Centre for Vision Research, York University
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  Thanks to NSERC Canada for support under a Collaborative Research and Development grant in partnership with Qualcomm Canada and to the Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) program partly funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.
Journal of Vision December 2022, Vol.22, 3312. doi:
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      Xue Teng, Laurie M. Wilcox, Robert S. Allison; Binocular cues to depth and distance enhance tolerance to visual and kinesthetic mismatch. Journal of Vision 2022;22(14):3312.

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

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In natural environments, motion parallax (from visual direction and optic flow) supports both depth and distance perception. What happens if we do not know how far we have moved or receive conflicting information? We manipulated motion gain using a VR headset and a two-phase task to assess perceived depth and distance. Observers first viewed a “fold” stimulus, a wall-oriented dihedral angle covered in Voronoi texture. The task was to adjust the dihedral angle until it appeared to be 90 degrees (perpendicular). We occluded the top and bottom edges of the fold and varied the width to make the edges of the fold uninformative. On each trial, following the angle adjustment, a second scene appeared which contained a pole that extended from a ground plane. In this phase, the task was to match the position of the pole to the remembered position of the apex of the previously seen fold. We tested observers binocularly and monocularly in two motion conditions (stationary and moving). When moving, observers swayed laterally through 20 cm in time to a 0.5 Hz metronome; the motion gain varied from 0.5 to 2.0 times the actual self-motion. We found that increased gain caused an increase in the adjusted angle or equivalently a decrease in associated depth of the fold, especially when viewed monocularly. In addition, perceived distance decreased with increasing gain, irrespective of viewing condition. That is, the fold was perceived as smaller and closer when gain was larger than 1. The effect of the gain manipulation was much weaker under binocular viewing. These data show that perceptual distortions due to differences between actual and virtual head motion are compensated for by binocular, and to a lesser extent monocular, depth and distance cues. These flexible compensatory mechanisms make the human visual system highly tolerant of visual/kinesthetic mismatch.


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