ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (1): 56-69.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00056

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Binocular disparity: Neural mechanisms and perceptual learning

WANG Getong1,2, XI Jie1,2(), CHEN Nihong3,4(), HUANG Changbing1,2   

  1. 1CAS Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
    4IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research at Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • Received:2020-03-18 Online:2021-01-15 Published:2020-11-23
  • Contact: XI Jie,CHEN Nihong;


Binocular disparity, a critical cue to stereopsis, is defined as the small horizontal displacement between the two corresponding images projected onto the retina of the two eyes. The study of binocular disparity can be dated back to the early 18th century. Recent studies on binocular disparity have advanced our understanding in two aspects. The first is using electrophysiological and brain imaging technique to investigate the functional specialization in disparity processing in the dorsal and ventral visual pathways, which reveals hierarchical and parallel processing principles in the visual system. The second is about learning-induced plasticity. Future research needs to combine brain imaging, neuromodulation and other cutting-edge techniques to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying binocular disparity, its learning effect, and the interaction between binocular disparity and other depth clues. On the application side, future research needs to optimize training paradigms (e.g., with virtual reality technique) for rehabilitation and enhancement in the binocular disparity performance.

Key words: binocular disparity, stereopsis, neural mechanism, perceptual learning, plasticity

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