Real-time simulation of visual defects with gaze-contingent display

Margarita Vinnikov, Robert S. Allison, Dominik Swierad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


Effective management and treatment of glaucoma and other visual diseases depend on early diagnosis. However, early symptoms of glaucoma often go unnoticed until a significant portion of the visual field is lost. The ability to simulate the visual consequences of the disease offers potential benefits for patients and clinical education as well as for public awareness of its signs and symptoms. Experiments using simulated visual field defects could identify changes in behaviour, for example during driving, that one uses to compensate at the early stages of the disease's development. Furthermore, by understanding how visual field defects affect performance of visual tasks, we can help develop new strategies to cope with other devastating diseases such as macular degeneration. A Gaze-Contingent Display (GCD) system was developed to simulate an arbitrary visual field in a virtual environment. The system can estimate real-time gaze direction and eye position in earth-fixed coordinates during relatively large head movement, and thus it can be used in immersive projection based VE systems like the CAVE™. Arbitrary visual fields are simulated via OpenGL and Shading Language capabilities and techniques that are supported by the GPU, thus enabling fast performance in real time. In order to simulate realistic visual defects, the system performs multiple image processing operations including change in acuity, brightness, color, glare and image distortion. The final component of the system simulates different virtual scenes that the participant can navigate through and explore. As a result, this system creates an experimental environment to study the effects of low vision on everyday tasks such as driving and navigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eye Tracking Research and Applications Symposium, ETRA 2008
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventEye Tracking Research and Applications Symposium, ETRA 2008 - Savannah, GA, United States
Duration: Mar 26 2008Mar 28 2008

Publication series

NameEye Tracking Research and Applications Symposium (ETRA)


ConferenceEye Tracking Research and Applications Symposium, ETRA 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySavannah, GA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


  • Eye disease
  • Foveated imaging
  • Gaze Contingent Display
  • Head-Eye tracking System
  • Image processing
  • Low vision
  • Variable resolution image
  • Visual fields


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