Effects of Stereoscopic Depth on Vigilance Performance and Cerebral Hemodynamics

Eric T. Greenlee, Gregory J. Funke, Joel S. Warm, Victor S. Finomore, Robert E. Patterson, Laura E. Barnes, Matthew E. Funke, Michael A. Vidulich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: We tested the possibility that monitoring a display wherein critical signals for detection were defined by a stereoscopic three-dimensional (3-D) image might be more resistant to the vigilance decrement, and to temporal declines in cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV), than monitoring a display featuring a customary two-dimensional (2-D) image. Background: Hancock has asserted that vigilance studies typically employ stimuli for detection that do not exemplify those that occur in the natural world. As a result, human performance is suboptimal. From this perspective, tasks that better approximate perception in natural environments should enhance performance efficiency. To test that possibility, we made use of stereopsis, an important means by which observers interact with their everyday surroundings. Method: Observers monitored a circular display in which a vertical line was embedded. Critical signals for detection in a 2-D condition were instances in which the line was rotated clockwise from vertical. In a 3-D condition, critical signals were cases in which the line appeared to move outward toward the observer. Results: The overall level of signal detection and the stability of detection over time were greater when observers monitored for 3-D changes in target depth compared to 2-D changes in target orientation. However, the 3-D display did not retard the temporal decline in CBFV. Conclusion: These results provide the initial demonstration that 3-D displays can enhance performance in vigilance tasks. Application: The use of 3-D displays may be productive in augmenting system reliability when operator vigilance is vital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1075
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015


  • depth perception
  • neuroimaging
  • simulator sickness
  • stereopsis
  • stress
  • vigilance


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