Stereoscopic acuity and observation distance
The amount of depth perceived from a fixed pattern of horizontal disparities varies with viewing distance. We investigated whether thresholds for discriminating stereoscopic corrugations at a range of spatial frequencies were also affected by viewing distance or whether they were determined solely by the angular disparity in the stimulus prior to scaling. Although thresholds were found to be determined primarily by disparity over a broad range of viewing distances, they were on average a factor of two higher at the shortest viewing distance (28.5 cm) than at larger viewing distances (57 to 450 cm). We found the same pattern of results when subjects' accommodation was arranged to be the same at all viewing distances. The change in thresholds at close distances is in the direction expected if subjects' performance is limited by a minimum perceived depth.