Document Detail

Shape analysis and stereopsis for human depth perception.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1604837     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The perceived relative depth of two isolated short parallel lines in the center of a scene is known to depend on the disparities and positions of other items in the scene, as well as on their own disparities. We demonstrate here that the shapes of these other items also contribute significantly to the perceived depth, and that these non-disparity influences on depth judgements may already be evident when only three dots are presented as stimuli. When two short vertical test lines are surrounded by a trapezoidal "picture frame", the perceived relative depth of the test lines is affected by the shape of the trapezoid as well as by the disparities assigned to its vertical parallel sides. The influence of the trapezoidal frame can be interpreted as an effect of perspective. The induced relative depth of the test lines is measured by recording the amount of "compensating disparity" that must be given to one of the lines in order for observers to judge the two test lines to be equidistant from the observer's viewing position. Surprisingly, for fixed disparities of the vertical edges of the surrounding picture frame, the induced depth of the test lines increases as the difference in the lengths of the vertical sides increases, regardless of whether the perspective interpretation of the difference in the lengths is consistent with or in conflict with the disparity-defined slant. Shape-related apparent depth changes are especially sensitive to the shape of the trapezoid if it is nearly rectangular, and are comparable in magnitude to those resulting from changes in disparity of the surrounding frame. When a pair of short vertical parallel test lines is presented alone, without a surrounding frame or any other items in the scene, excellent relative depth discrimination is displayed by most subjects. However, if the lines are replaced by squares, trapezoids, triangles, single horizontal lines, or other figures of about the same size as the original test lines, the slant discrimination threshold for these plane figures for naïve observers become poorer by a factor of 20-100. By the use of a feedback signal, observers can be trained to use only disparity cues and ignore shape effects. Some observers have difficulty ignoring the shapes of some figures, the "difficult" figures being different for each observer. After training, the relative depth thresholds for most figures approach those of the original unconnected parallel test lines.
T Kumar; D A Glaser
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Vision research     Volume:  32     ISSN:  0042-6989     ISO Abbreviation:  Vision Res.     Publication Date:  1992 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-07-16     Completed Date:  1992-07-16     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0417402     Medline TA:  Vision Res     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  499-512     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.
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MeSH Terms
Depth Perception / physiology*
Sensory Thresholds / physiology
Vision Disparity / physiology
Vision, Binocular / physiology*

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