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Stereoscopic correspondence for ambiguous targets is affected by elevation and fixation distance

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

Binocular correspondence must be determined if disparity is to be used to provide information about three-dimensional shape. The current study investigated whether knowledge of the statistical distribution of disparities in the natural environment is employed in this process. A simple model, which produces distributions of distances similar to those found in the natural environment, was used to predict the distribution of disparities in natural images. This model predicts that crossed disparities will be more likely as (i) stimulus elevation decreases below fixation and (ii) fixation distance increases. To determine whether these factors influence binocular correspondence for human observers, ambiguous stereograms were presented to observers, as stimulus elevation and fixation distance were manipulated. Clear biases were observed in the depth perceived in these stereograms, which were more likely to be seen as closer than fixation (i) for stimuli presented below fixation and (ii) as fixation distance increased. These results suggest that binocular correspondence is determined in a manner consistent with the distributions of disparities expected in natural scenes.


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