Measuring vergence and fixation disparity in 3D space

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Abstract

As the eyes continuously move in 3D space, they rarely converge at the exact depth of the plane even when fixating a 2D image or computer screen. Rather, the lines of gaze measured by eye movement recordings show some misalignment so‐called fixation disparity. Fixation disparity occurs in front of or behind the plane and the eyes may also be lagged vertically. For those reasons, vision research requires mathematical tools to calculate where exactly the lines of gaze cross the stimulus plane. Seminal research on vergence eye movements targeting stimuli lying on isovergence curves has been content with simple computation of the difference between the two eye rotations angles. Recently, the need of new calculations has emerged with the increasing use of eye trackers providing the eye coordinates on a computer screen. Previous studies have made this attempt but with restrictions. We introduce here a complete calculation of fixation disparity in 3D space allowing vision researchers to study the precision of gaze regardless of the stimulus location in 3D space and of whether the eyes lag horizontally and/or vertically.

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