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Binocular Vision and Stereopsis Across the Animal Kingdom

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jenny ReadORCiD


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Most animals have at least some binocular overlap, i.e., a region of space that is viewed by both eyes. This reduces the overall visual field and raises the problem of combining two views of the world, seen from different vantage points, into a coherent whole. However, binocular vision also offers many potential advantages, including increased ability to see around obstacles and increased contrast sensitivity. One particularly interesting use for binocular vision is comparing information from both eyes to derive information about depth. There are many different ways in which this might be done, but in this review, I refer to them all under the general heading of stereopsis. This review examines the different possible uses of binocular vision and stereopsis and compares what is currently known about the neural basis of stereopsis in different taxa. Studying different animals helps us break free of preconceptions stemming from the way that stereopsis operates in human vision and provides new insights into the different possible forms of stereopsis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Read JCA

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annual Review of Vision Science

Year: 2021

Volume: 7

Pages: 389-415

Print publication date: 01/09/2021

Online publication date: 20/07/2021

Acceptance date: 16/02/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2374-4650


DOI: 10.1146/annurev-vision-093019-113212

PubMed id: 34283925

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