Most people have a dominant eye. It is the eye that looks directly at anything you focus on. We have binocular vision – that means that each eye sees a slightly different scene. Let’s say you are looking at your new car in the driveway. The dominant eye looks directly at it and the non-dominant eye sees it at a slight angle. We don’t feel that difference as the two car images merge and we see one car.
This experiment is called the Dolman method of determining ocular dominance. It is quick and easy.
You will find that the hole is in front of one of your eyes – your dominant eye. That eye has been the one focusing on the chair all along, while the other eye looked at it a little from the side.
Each eye sends its images to the brain along fibers of the optic nerve. Please see Eye Anatomy: The Optic Nerve for a diagram of how that happens. The brain combines data from both images and finds words to describe the resulting single image. This is called binocular vision. We learn to do this in the first two years of life.
In forming the single image and giving it three dimensions, the brain uses two types of cues: monocular (from one eye) and binocular (from both eyes)
Binocular vision is not necessary for providing these cues – one eye does it equally well.
These cues are only possible from the use of two eyes.
Eye dominance can be strong or weak. Strong dominance can be caused by amblyopia or strabismus in early life. A child with either of these conditions grows up using one eye much more than the other. This teaches the brain to accept more data from the dominant eye and to ignore some data from the non-dominant eye.
To learn more about your own eyes, please see How to Find Your Blind Spot.
Please visit our ophthalmologist directory today if you would like to speak with a qualified eye doctor near you.