Ocular Dominance / Hole-in-card procedure

After an innocent question of a student on how to measure occular dominance, I was let down a rabbit hole.

In a more recent paper I found it referenced as the “Dolman Method” Li et al 2010. A good starting point! Indeed, it pointed to Durand and Gould (1910) which developed an aparatus to measure occular dominance.

But this is clearly not a Hole-in-card test, also neither of those are called “Dolman”. Let’s dig deeper!

Durand and Gould 2010

Google didn’t really help, gpt4 offered me fake citations and blamed me that I can’t find them — but google-scholar offered me Miles 1929. It is a nice read, citing some Da Vinci (via Gould s.a.), referencing Donders all in the context of binocular vision and ocular dominance. Funnily, he’s mentioning that Helmholtz didn’t reference this problem at all. And finally, it contains the original source of the Dolman Method, by Captain Perc. Dolman 1919 (“Tests for determining the sighting eye”, page 867, American Journal of Ophthalmology volume 2). I pasted the single-page paper below.

And there we have it — the de facto standard for measuring optical dominance. Interestingly, Dolman is rarely cited. So next time, you know better!

Durand & Gould 191081
Miles 1929251
Dolman 191929
Dolman is rarely cited, the hole-in-card test is typically attributed to Miles or Durand/Gould, even though both their methods used “scopes”
Dolman 1919 – first description of the actual hole-in-card test.

Categorized: Blog


Leave a Reply