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Binocular disparity only comes into play when everything else fails; a finding with broader implications than one might suppose

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

This paper calls attention to research showing that binocular disparity, which is an effective cue to depth, plays a secondary role, at best, in the perception of 3D shape. This claim has implications both for how shape should be studied and how this unique perceptual property should be modeled. These issues are discussed from a historical perspective, which shows how the failure to appreciate the importance of the Gestalt grouping principle called 'Figure–Ground Organization' led to many unfruitful efforts. It also calls attention to how this situation can be remedied.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA


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