A rapid quantification of binocular misalignment without recording eye movements: Vertical and torsional alignment nulling

Kara H. Beaton, Mark J Shelhamer, Dale C. Roberts, Michael C Schubert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background Small, innate asymmetries between the left and right otolith organs can cause ocular misalignment with symptoms that include double vision and motion sickness. Additionally, ocular misalignment affects nearly 5% of the US population. We have developed a portable, non-invasive technology that uses subjective perception of binocular visual signals to estimate relative binocular alignment. New method and results The Vertical Alignment Nulling (VAN) and Torsional Alignment Nulling (TAN) tests ask subjects to view one red and one blue line on a tablet computer while looking through color-matched red and blue filters so that each eye sees only one of the lines. Subjects align the red and blue lines, which are initially vertically offset from one another during VAN or rotated relative to one another during TAN, until they perceive a single continuous line. Ocular misalignments are inferred from actual offsets in the final line positions. During testing, all binocular visual cues are eliminated by employing active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) technology and testing in darkness. VAN and TAN can accurately account for visual offsets induced by prisms, and test-retest reliability is excellent, with resolution better than many current standard clinical tests. Comparison with existing method(s) VAN and TAN tests are similar to the clinical Lancaster red-green test. However, VAN and TAN employ inexpensive, hand-held hardware that can be self-administered with results that are quickly quantifiable. Conclusions VAN and TAN provide simple, sensitive, and quantitative measures of binocular positioning alignment that may be useful for detecting subtle abnormalities in ocular positioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017



  • Dissociative test
  • Heterophoria test
  • Ocular misalignment test
  • Otolith asymmetry
  • Retinal disparity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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