Impact of depth of field simulation on visual fatigue: Who are impacted? and how?

M. Vinnikov, R. S. Allison, S. Fernandes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


While stereoscopic content can be compelling, it is not always comfortable for users to interact with on a regular basis. This is because the stereoscopic content on displays viewed at a short distance has been associated with different symptoms such as eye-strain, visual discomfort, and even nausea. Many of these symptoms have been attributed to cue conflict, for example between vergence and accommodation. To resolve those conflicts, volumetric and other displays have been proposed to improve the user's experience. However, these displays are expensive, unduly restrict viewing position, or provide poor image quality. As a result, commercial solutions are not readily available. We hypothesized that some of the discomfort and fatigue symptoms exhibited from viewing in stereoscopic displays may result from a mismatch between stereopsis and blur, rather than between sensed accommodation and vergence. To find factors that may support or disprove this claim, we built a real-time gaze-contingent system that simulates depth of field (DOF) that is associated with accommodation at the virtual depth of the point of regard (POR). Subsequently, a series of experiments evaluated the impact of DOF on people of different age groups (younger versus older adults). The difference between short duration discomfort and fatigue due to prolonged viewing was also examined. Results indicated that age may be a determining factor for a user's experience of DOF. There was also a major difference in a user's perception of viewing comfort during short-term exposure and prolonged viewing. Primarily, people did not find that the presence of DOF enhanced short-term viewing comfort, while DOF alleviated some symptoms of visual fatigue but not all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-51
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
StatePublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education
  • General Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture


  • Depth perception
  • Depth-of-field
  • Gaze-contingent displays
  • User experience
  • Visual-fatigue


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of depth of field simulation on visual fatigue: Who are impacted? and how?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this