Perceptual aspects of two-dimensional and stereoscopic display techniques in endoscopic surgery: review and current problems

Jörg Hofmeister, Timothy G. Frank (Lead / Corresponding author), Alfred Cuschieri, Nicholas J. Wade

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66 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this review is to analyze the perceptual aspects of endoscopic imaging systems. After discussing depth perception in natural settings, the problems of perceiving depth in 2-dimensional representations are investigated. We discuss the impact of stereoscopic video systems on the cerebral perceptual system, emphasising the fact that despite the addition of binocular disparity information, existing stereoscopic video systems are still different from normal 3-dimensional vision. Both 2-dimensional and stereoscopic video systems require a rescaling of visual information to guide motor behavior. A review of the growing number of papers comparing. 2-dimensional and stereoscopic video systems shows that only about 50% of investigators found a significant benefit for stereoscopic systems. It is unlikely that image display technology for endoscopic surgery can ever progress to the stage where it is equivalent to normal vision. Within this limitation, progress will result from a multidisciplinary approach, involving technological advances in the quality of the displayed image together with psychovisuomotor and ergonomics research, which facilitates the cerebral rescaling and perception process by the endoscopic surgeon. Copyright © 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-24
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in Laparoscopic Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001



  • Depth perception
  • Depth cues
  • Stereopsis
  • 2-D video systems
  • Stereoscopic video systems
  • Endoscopy

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