The role of binocular vision in prehension: a kinematic analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examined the contribution of binocular vision to the control of human prehension. Subjects reached out and grasped oblong blocks under conditions of either monocular or binocular vision. Kinematic analyses revealed that prehensile movements made under monocular viewing differed substantially from those performed under binocular conditions. In particular, grasping movements made under monocular viewing conditions showed longer movement times, lower peak velocities, proportionately longer deceleration phases, and smaller grip apertures than movements made under binocular viewing. In short, subjects appeared to be underestimating the distance of objects (and as a consequence, their size) under monocular viewing. It is argued that the differences in performance between the two viewing conditions were largely a reflection of differences in estimates of the target's size and distance obtained prior to movement onset. This study provides the first clear kinematic evidence that binocular vision (stereopsis and possibly vergence) makes a significant contribution to the accurate programming of prehensile movements in humans.

publication date

  • August 1992