Binocular depth inversion represents an illusion of visual perception that is sensitive to various behavioural and psychiatric conditions. It is affected by cannabinoids, reflecting associated changes in perception. The present study investigated the differences in binocular depth inversion of different classes of natural and artificial objects and the effect of synthetic <Delta>9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Dronabinol) on these illusionary perceptions. Using this model, the effects of orally administered Dronabinol on binocular depth inversion were investigated in 17 healthy male volunteers. Pictures from natural and artificial objects were presented stereoscopically and the depth perception of the volunteers was scored in an operationalized way. The time-course of the effects of Dronabinol on binocular depth inversion was analyzed with regard to the stimulus classes (natural and synthetic objects). Significant differences in binocular depth inversion of the different groups of stimuli were revealed. Objects with a higher degree of everyday familiarity were generally seen as more illusionary than those with a lower degree of everyday familiarity. A strong impairment of binocular depth inversion due to Dronabinol was found in most classes of objects. Analysis of different stimulus classes provides further information on the underlying perceptual processing of binocular depth inversion. An impairment of top-down processing of visual sensory data by Dronabinol is suggested. The anandamidergic system seems to be involved in areas of visual information processing.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)