The neural mechanism of binocular depth discrimination

J Physiol. 1967 Nov;193(2):327-42. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1967.sp008360.


1. Binocularly driven units were investigated in the cat's primary visual cortex.2. It was found that a stimulus located correctly in the visual fields of both eyes was more effective in driving the units than a monocular stimulus, and much more effective than a binocular stimulus which was correctly positioned in only one eye: the response to the correctly located image in one eye is vetoed if the image is incorrectly located in the other eye.3. The vertical and horizontal disparities of the paired retinal images that yielded the maximum response were measured in 87 units from seven cats: the range of horizontal disparities was 6.6 degrees , of vertical disparities 2.2 degrees .4. With fixed convergence, different units will be optimally excited by objects lying at different distances. This may be the basic mechanism underlying depth discrimination in the cat.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials*
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Depth Perception*
  • Eye / innervation
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Ocular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Visual Fields / physiology