Ocular prevalence versus ocular dominance

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Ocular dominance manifests itself in tests that contain stereo-objects with a disparity beyond Panum's area, e.g. in pointing a finger. These tests force subjects to decide in favour of one or the other eye. In contrast, ocular prevalence is determined using stereo-targets imaged within Panum's areas. These tests allow a graded quantification of the balance between the eyes. Here we present the computer-based Freiburg Ocular Prevalence Test in which stereo-disparate targets have to be aligned, and compare it with the Haase Stereo-balance Test that requires an estimation of the horizontal distance between stationary stereo-disparate objects. In addition, we compare ocular prevalence with ocular dominance. Methods: (1) We measured the influence of a neutral-grey filter in front of one eye to assess the suitability of the Freiburg and the Haase Tests in revealing graded amounts of ocular prevalence. (2) About 20 subjects with equal vision of their two eyes underwent the Freiburg and the Haase Tests for ocular prevalence, and Parson's Monoptoscope Test for ocular dominance. Results: (1) In both the Freiburg and the Haase Tests, the neutral-grey filter shifted ocular prevalence by about 50%. (2) An ocular prevalence of more than 10% occurred in 13 of the 20 subjects using the Freiburg, and in 14 using the Haase Test. On average, the ocular prevalence was 24.1±3.8% in the Freiburg and 32.0±8.2% in the Haase Test. The dominant eye coincided with the prevalent eye in 15 of the 20 subjects. Discussion: The effect of the neutral-grey filter indicated that both the Freiburg and the Haase Tests can be used to measure fractions of ocular prevalence, although the Freiburg Test carries a higher reproducibility. Spontaneous ocular prevalence occurs frequently in persons with equal vision of their two eyes. This suggests that ocular prevalence does not represent a condition that requires treatment. Rather, partial suppression of one eye, the correlate of ocular prevalence, may play a physiological role in that it helps to disregard double images at stereo-disparities close to the limits of Panum's area. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.




Kommerell, G., Schmitt, C., Kromeier, M., & Bach, M. (2003). Ocular prevalence versus ocular dominance. Vision Research, 43(12), 1397–1403. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0042-6989(03)00121-4

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