We can judge depth with single eye too

March 17th, 2008 - 11:22 am ICT by admin  

New York, March 17 (IANS) Popular perception ascribes our ability to gauge depth to a pair of eyes. But we can judge depth with a single eye also, something that has puzzled scientists, till now. Now, a University of Rochester research team believes it has discovered the answer in a small part of the brain that processes the image from a single eye as well as the motion of our bodies.

The team, led by Greg DeAngelis, has published these findings in the latest online issue of the journal Nature.

“It looks as though in this area of the brain, the neurons are combining visual cues and non-visual cues to come up with a unique way to determine depth,” says DeAngelis.

The finding implies that the brain uses an array of methods to gauge depth. In addition to two-eyed “binocular disparity”, the brain has neurons that specifically measure our motion, perspective, and how objects pass in front of or behind each other to create an approximation of the three-dimensional world in our minds.

The researchers say the findings may help instruct children who were born with misalignment of the eyes to restore more normal functions of binocular vision in the brain.

The discovery could also help construct more compelling virtual reality environments someday, says DeAngelis, since we have to know exactly how our brains construct three-dimensional perception to make virtual reality as convincing as possible.

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