, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 161-185

The psychophysical inquiry into binocular summation

Abstract

Experiments that compare monocular and binocular visual performance of human psychophysical Os on a variety of visual tasks are reviewed. The review attempts to include all experiments published in English in this century, excluding work on stereopsis, rivalry, and evoked potentials. The concept of probability summation as a baseline for assessing the presence of neural summation is discussed, and the assumptions of several models for estimating probability summation are considered. Experiments are classified in terms of visual task, major categories being increment detection, flicker fusion, brightness magnitude, and contour resolution. A major conclusion is that binocular performance is superior for essentially all task categories and in most cases by a magnitude greater than that predicted by appropriate probability summation models.

This work was supported by a NIMH predoctoral fellowship to Randolph Blake and by Public Health Service Grant EY00590 to Robert Fox. We would like to thank Joseph S. Lappin for his helpful comments.