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Such questions led to the motion parallax experiments by Nawrot and his research team. Methodology for the study was painstakingly developed. The flyer posted to recruit participants noted anyone under 21 need not apply, among other restrictions. But before volunteers could even be found, Nawrot provided details of his pro- posed research before the university’s Institutional Review Board. Made up of faculty, medical and clergy members, it examines proposed studies involving human research subjects. The board concluded that appropriate safety mea- sures were in place, in compliance with federal and school guidelines. Approval to conduct the study also hinged on review by university administration, which granted approval.

Although one might think there would be legions of volunteers on a college campus for a study where they’re asked to drink alcohol, the stringent criteria ruled out many peo- ple. Participants committed to separate 3-hour and 2-hour time periods and extensive vision testing. The average age of volunteers in the study was 24.

The volume and types of eye move- ments measured in the experiments were significant. Pursuit eye move- ments were monitored and recorded. Just visualize a quarterback passing a football or think of watching other vehicles on the road while driving. Both use pursuit eye movements. Then imagine a wide receiver in a football game as he runs while following the ball and trying to catch it. These compensatory eye movements, as they are known, are what we use when we drive to allow for our constant head movements.

The researchers also measured other factors such as binocular disparity, which is the difference between the viewpoints of our two eyes. Crunching all that data provided some interesting research results.


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