Contributions of binocular and monocular cues to motion-in-depth perception

J Vis. 2019 Mar 1;19(3):2. doi: 10.1167/19.3.2.


Intercepting and avoiding moving objects requires accurate motion-in-depth (MID) perception. Such motion can be estimated based on both binocular and monocular cues. Because previous studies largely characterized sensitivity to these cues individually, their relative contributions to MID perception remain unclear. Here we measured sensitivity to binocular, monocular, and combined cue MID stimuli using a motion coherence paradigm. We first confirmed prior reports of substantial variability in binocular MID cue sensitivity across the visual field. The stimuli were matched for eccentricity and speed, suggesting that this variability has a neural basis. Second, we determined that monocular MID cue sensitivity also varied considerably across the visual field. A major component of this variability was geometric: An MID stimulus produces the largest motion signals in the eye contralateral to its visual field location. This resulted in better monocular discrimination performance when the contralateral rather than ipsilateral eye was stimulated. Third, we found that monocular cue sensitivity generally exceeded, and was independent of, binocular cue sensitivity. Finally, contralateral monocular cue sensitivity was found to be a strong predictor of combined cue sensitivity. These results reveal distinct factors constraining the contributions of binocular and monocular cues to three-dimensional motion perception.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cues*
  • Depth Perception / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology*
  • Vision, Monocular / physiology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology