Researchers at the University of York have revealed that there are two separate "ways" to see the 3-D movement in the human brain, allowing people to perform a variety of tasks that catch a ball or avoid moving objects .
The new insight could contribute to further understanding of how to alleviate the effects of deaf disease as well as how the industry could develop better 3-D visual displays and virtual reality systems.
Much of what scientists know about the 3-D movement comes from comparing the stereoscopic signals generated by a person's eyes, but the precise way the brain treats these signals is not fully understood earlier.
Researchers at the universities York, St. Andrews and Bradford scientists have now shown that there are two ways the brain can calculate 3-D signals, not just one that previously thought.
They found that 3-D movement signals are separated into two "pathways" in the brain at an early stage of image transmission between the eyes and the brain.
Dr. Alex Wade of the University of York's Department of Psychology said: "We know we have two signals from our visual system that help the brain calculate 3-D movement ̵
"This helps us in a number of ways, with our hand-eye coordination for example, or so we don't fall over navigating around objects. What we didn't know was what the brain did with these signals so we could understand what's going on in front of our eyes and respond appropriately.
"Using brain formation technology, we could see that two 3-D motion signals are separated into two different pathways in the brain so that the information can be extracted simultaneously and indicate to the visual system that it encounters a 3-D moving object. . "
The research team had previously shown that people with lazy eye syndrome can still see" fast "3-D movement signals, despite having very poor 3-D vision in general. Now that scientists understand how this pathway works, there is potential to build tests for measuring and monitoring therapies in order to cure the condition.
Dr. Milena Kaestner, who did the work as part of her PhD at the University of York said: "We were also surprised to see a link between 3-D movement signals and how the brain receives color information. We now believe that color can be more important in this type of visual treatment than we previously
" The visual pathways of color have been assumed to be independent of signals of motion and depth, but research suggests that there might be a connection in the brain between these three visual characteristics. "
Dr. Julie Harris, of St Andrews University , said: "Knowing more about our visual system, and especially how movement, depth and color could all be connected in the brain, could help in a number of research areas into what happens when these pathways go wrong, resulting in visual disturbances that affects people's quality of life negatively. "
The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( PNAS ).
The team shines on how our brains see the world
Milena Kaestner et al., "Asymmetries between achromatic and chromatic extraction of 3D motion signals" PNAS (2019). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1817202116
Breakthrough in understanding how human eyes treat 3-D movement (2019, June 17)
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