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Binocular cues and the control of prehension

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

The present study was designed to assess the importance of binocular information (i.e. binocular disparity and angle of convergence) in the control of prehension. Previous studies which have addressed this question have typically used the same experimental manipulation: comparing prehensile movements executed either under binocular conditions to those executed when one eye was occluded (monocular). However this may not be the correct comparison as in addition to depriving the subject of binocular depth cues, it also deprives the subject of any visual information in one eye. Therefore we determined the prehensile performance when the subject viewed the target object and scene with either (i) two different views (binocular), (ii) two identical views (bi-ocular), or (iii) one view only (monocular). Overall, the qualitative and quantitative performance in the bi-ocular and monocular control conditions was very similar on all the main measures (and different from the performance in the binocular condition). We conclude that the deficits in performance observed found for 'monocular' reaches should be attributed to the lack of local depth information specified by the binocular cues. In addition we speculate that convergence angle and binocular disparity, although involved in both the pre-movement and movement-execution phases of the reach, the cues may be weighted differently in both phases of a prehension movement depending on the behavioural strategy involved.


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