Depth Perception and Binocular Vision in Naturalistic Virtual Reality

6th May 2015 BMVA Technical Meeting – Vision for human-computer interaction and virtual reality systems –

Keynote Speaker, Guido Maiello, University College London, London, UK

How are monocular and binocular depth cues we experience in naturalistic virtual reality processed and integrated by the visual system?

What is the best way to deliver depth information in modern display technology, in order to reduce visual discomfort, protect visual function and promote normal visual development?

How do we quantify functional interaction within augmented reality systems?

These are fundamental questions that need to be addressed when developing and improving computer graphics for virtual/augmented/mixed reality techniques.

This talk will cover a mix of novel and established techniques researchers may employ to study perception, misperception and functional interaction in virtual environments. In some representative applications of these techniques, we have employed photographs of natural scenes taken with a commercial plenoptic camera to examine depth perception while varying perspective, blur and binocular disparity. Using a gaze contingent display with these natural images, we can vary the dioptric blur and stereoscopic disparity that are dependent on the three-dimensional structure of natural scenes. For example, we can examine how the time course of binocular fusion depends on depth cues from blur and stereoscopic disparity in natural images. Our findings demonstrate that disparity and peripheral blur interact to modify eye movement behavior and facilitate binocular fusion. Employing more synthetic, but still naturalistic, dead leaves stimuli we can study the binocular accommodation response to different simulated depth cues. Through eye and hand tracking technology we can study visuomotor behavior in simulated and real 3D space. The methods, results, and data I will present have implications for basic understanding of oculomotor control and 3D perception, and can be employed towards bettering virtual reality technology.


Guido Maiello

UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

University College London, London, UK


Department of Psychology,

Northeastern University, Boston, USA


Department of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics and System Engineering

University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy