Does stereopsis matter in humans?

Eye (Lond). 1996:10 ( Pt 2):233-8. doi: 10.1038/eye.1996.51.


Stereopsis has been one of the most popular fields of vision research for well over a century and is routinely measured in clinical practice, yet its functional significance has been largely neglected. Stereopsis is disrupted by blur, amblyopia and strabismus and is of potential value as a means of indirect screening for visual disorders in childhood. However, evidence for the functional effects of stereoscopic deficits is sparse. Recent investigations indicate that binocularity is an advantage in certain tasks, especially in the comprehension of complex visual presentations and those requiring good hand-eye coordination. The assumption derived from the evolutionary theory that stereopsis represents an adaptation by primates to arboreal life needs to be questioned. While the functional aspects of stereopsis are still not fully understood the direction that future research should take to unravel this important issue is apparent.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biological Evolution
  • Child
  • Depth Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Perceptual Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Vision Disorders / prevention & control
  • Vision Tests
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology*