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Vergence provides veridical depth perception from horizontal retinal image disparities

Mon-Williams, M., Tresilian, J.R. and Roberts, A. (2000) Vergence provides veridical depth perception from horizontal retinal image disparities. Experimental Brain Research, 133 (3). pp. 407-413. ISSN 0014-4819

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Abstract

One useful source of depth information available to the human nervous system is present in the horizontal disparities that exist between the two retinal images (stereoscopic depth). The relationship between horizontal disparity and depth varies with viewing distance so that an interpreting signal is required if disparities are to yield useful information. One potentially useful interpreting signal is available from ocular vergence. A number of studies have concluded, however, that a vergence signal does not provide veridical stereoscopic depth. All of these studies required observers to make a range of judgements under conditions of uncertainty (often using random dot stimuli) and we suggest that the lack of veridicality arose because of a contraction bias: a general tendency to bias judgements towards the centre of the range of possible responses. We re-examined the role of ocular vergence in the maintenance of stereoscopic depth constancy for real three-dimensional objects. Our results question the conclusions reached by previous studies and suggest that vergence can provide a veridical interpretation of stereoscopic depth. Our results indicate that horizontal retinal image disparities are not interpreted by a ‘higher order’ signal (i.e. the ‘perceived distance’ of the fixation point). The results of the experiment have significant implications for models of depth processing from disparity.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: binocular; vergence; depth perception; cue weight; human
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > Institute of Psychological Sciences (Leeds) > Cognitive Psychology (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2009 10:12
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2010 14:24
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s002210000410
Status: Published
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Identification Number: 10.1007/s002210000410
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8686

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