Table 1

Main advantages and disadvantages of dichoptic display approaches in the MRI scanner

TypeSeparationMain ProsMain ConsCost
1AnaglyphSpectral: colored filters are used to separate input to each eye: for example, the red filter passes red image and the green filter passes the green image
  • Affordable and easy to use

  • Independent of head position

  • Full size image

  • Images can only be grayscale, not suitable for images in color

  • Non-naturalistic

  • Prone to cross talk

  • Limited in luminance range

2Passive polarizing glassesPolarized light: orthogonal polarization of light going to left and right eyes
  • Full color display

  • Full size image

  • Can be used concurrently with eye tracking

  • May affect color display (circular polarization)

  • Dependent on optimal head position (linear polarization)

  • Flicker artefact caused by temporal asynchrony

  • Prone to cross-talk

$7000 (Thompson et al., 2008)
3Mirror stereoscopeSpatial: angled mirrors are used to display one half of the screen to each eye
  • Independent display to each eye

  • Zero cross talk

  • Full color

  • Duplicates screen properties, no distortion of visual display properties

  • Precise

  • Visual field is halved

  • Needs stationary head position

  • Needs calibration for each participant

  • Difficult to use with concurrent eye tracking

4Prism lensesSpatial: the optical path is diverted using prisms so each eye fixates one half of the screen
  • Affordable

  • Independent display to each eye

  • Zero cross talk

  • Full color

  • Distortion at periphery of visual field12

  • Limited field of view

  • Needs stationary head position

  • Cannot be used for very large disparities

  • Difficult with concurrent eye-tracking

$300 (Schurger, 2009)
5Head-mounted displaySpatial: small display screens are presented in front of each eye in a goggle system
  • Full color

  • No distortion of visual display properties

  • Full display size

  • Integrated eye-tracking

  • High cost

  • Requires continuous external support and technical assistance

  • Rows 1 and 2 are “overlapping” stereo-displays. Rows 3–5 are “nonoverlapping” stereo-displays that work using spatial separation. Cost estimates are in United States dollar (USD) and approximate. $ = USD.