Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (efMRI) of depth-by-disparity perception: additional evidence for right-hemispheric lateralization

Exp Brain Res. 2009 Jul;196(3):453-8. doi: 10.1007/s00221-009-1844-z. Epub 2009 May 27.


In natural environments depth-related information has to be extracted very fast from binocular disparity even if cues are presented shortly. However, few studies used efMRI to study depth perception. We therefore analyzed extension and localization of activation evoked by depth-by-disparity stimuli that were displayed for 1 s. As some clinical as well as neuroimaging studies had found a right-hemispheric lateralization of depth perception the sample size was increased to 26 subjects to gain higher statistical significance. All individuals reported a stable depth perception. In the random effects analysis the maximum activation of the disparity versus no disparity condition was highly significant and located in the extra-striate cortex, presumably in V3A (P < 0.05, family wise error). The activation was more pronounced in the right hemisphere. However, in the single-subject analysis depth-related right-hemispheric lateralization was observed only in 65% of the subjects. Lateralization of depth-by-disparity may therefore be obscured in smaller groups.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cues
  • Depth Perception / physiology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Vision Disparity / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / blood supply*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*


  • Oxygen