Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Alyson Kishi Rose Hills

Stereopsis and Motor Control in a Prehension Task

Precise and coordinated motor movement, such as prehension, is an essential skill for completing everyday tasks. The aim of this study is to quantify the relationship between stereopsis (the ability to see depth) and skilled prehension (the ability to precisely grasp an object). We present objects in a frontal view that minimizes other cues to their shape and ask participants to reach and pick up the objects while recording their hand movements. Because grasping an object relies on 3-dimensional object properties and relative disparity, we predict that individuals with anomalous depth perception will have impaired ability to grasp objects. Thus, in a subset of the larger study, stereo-anomalous participants will undergo perceptual learning training using virtual reality games to observe any possible recovered stereopsis and improved motor movement. It is our ultimate hope that the study will illuminate our understanding of how stereopsis benefits manual tasks and provide a basis for therapies that improve binocular function and depth perception.

Message To Sponsor

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Rose Hills Foundation for making this summer experience possible. I am so grateful to have had the support and opportunity to explore a topic that I am passionate about and that has the potential to improve the lives of those with depth perception deficits. The time and effort I have put into this project since its conception has shown me how arduous but rewarding the research process can be. Not only have I gained invaluable skills in study design, literature review, and data analysis, but I have also grown more confident in my abilities to think critically as a researcher. Most importantly, this experience has given me an intellectual curiosity and greater scientific understanding that I hope to carry with me in my Honors Thesis and future endeavors.
Profile image of Alyson Kishi
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: Dennis Levi
Sponsor: Rose Hills Experience
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