Aim: In strabismus clinics, stereoscopic depth perception is usually examined using static stimuli, but these stimuli do not necessarily allow assessment of the ability to perceive motion in depth. We assessed the ability to perceive motion-in-depth perception using a novel stereo motion test that we developed and compared with that to perceive static depth perception using a conventional stereo test in strasbismic patients.
Methods: To investigate motion-in-depth perception in patients with strabismus, we developed a stereo motion test using four types of computer-generated dynamic visual stimuli. Three of them are random dot stereograms of two parallel planes moving in depth. The patient is asked to indicate the planes' direction of rotation in depth (in the first and second types of them) or the presence/absence of motion in depth signal (in the third one). The fourth type of stimulus was random dot stereogram of a rotating cylinder. The upper and lower parts of the cylinder rotate in opposite directions, and the patient is asked to indicate the position of the border between the two parts. Threshold disparity was defined as the disparity (relative disparity between the nearest and farthest points of the planes or the cylinder) that gives a critical level of performance with the method of limit. The conventional Titmus stereo test using static visual stimuli was used to assess static depth perception. The measurements were performed in 52 strabismic patients aged between 4 and 38 years old, who visited Tokyo Medical University Hospital between January 2003 and July 2004.
Results: The results showed poor correlation in threshold of individual patients between the stereo motion test and conventional Titmus stereo test. For example, the ability to perceive motion in depth (disparity threshold < 500 sec of arc) was demonstrated in three of seven patients who were not able to perceive depth using static stimuli (0/9 for Titmus circle). These results suggest that the process of the dynamic element of binocular depth perception is preserved in some of the strabismic patients who lack static stereopsis.
Conclusion: This study indicates the importance of testing motion in depth perception as well as static depth perception in assessing stereopsis in strabismic patients.
- stereo motion
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