Stereoscopic depth increases intersubject correlations of brain networks

Michael Gaebler, Felix Biessmann, Jan Peter Lamke, Klaus Robert Müller, Henrik Walter, Stefan Hetzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Three-dimensional movies presented via stereoscopic displays have become more popular in recent years aiming at a more engaging viewing experience. However, neurocognitive processes associated with the perception of stereoscopic depth in complex and dynamic visual stimuli remain understudied. Here, we investigate the influence of stereoscopic depth on both neurophysiology and subjective experience. Using multivariate statistical learning methods, we compare the brain activity of subjects when freely watching the same movies in 2D and in 3D. Subjective reports indicate that 3D movies are more strongly experienced than 2D movies. On the neural level, we observe significantly higher intersubject correlations of cortical networks when subjects are watching 3D movies relative to the same movies in 2D. We demonstrate that increases in intersubject correlations of brain networks can serve as neurophysiological marker for stereoscopic depth and for the strength of the viewing experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-434
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially supported by the World Class University Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology , under grant R31-10008 , by the Brain Korea 21 Plus Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Republic of Korea , by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research ( 01GQ0850 , 01GQ0411 ), by the Volkswagen Foundation grant no. II/84051 and by the German Research Foundation ( DFG ). We thank Judith K. Daniels for the positive influence at early stages of the project and Susanne Herholz as well as Siamac Fazli for valuable comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. J.P.L., M.G., and S.H. conceived and carried out the experiment. F.B. and M.G. analyzed the data. F.B., H.W., K.R.M., M.G., and S.H. wrote the paper. While working on the project F.B. was with TU Berlin and Korea University. The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  • 3D movies
  • Canonical correlation analysis (CCA)
  • FMRI
  • Immersion
  • Intersubject correlations
  • Natural viewing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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