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Vision Res. 1994 Nov;34(22):2971-82.

Contrast thresholds for stereoscopic depth identification with isoluminant and isochromatic stimuli.

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  • 1McGill Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Contrast thresholds for stereoscopic depth identification (crossed or uncrossed) were measured as a function of disparity using isoluminant (red-green) and isochromatic (yellow-black) 0.5 c/deg Gabor patches. For the purposes of comparison stimulus contrasts were scaled by their respective detection thresholds. The detection thresholds employed were computed from the monocular detection thresholds of the stereo half-images, based on the assumption that simultaneous detection of these half-images in each eye was a sufficient condition for stereopsis. It was found that the disparity tuning of both chromatic and luminance mechanisms was similar, with a performance peak for a binocular phase disparity of 50-120 deg. However, more contrast was required, relative to detection threshold, for the chromatic patterns to evoke a sensation of stereoscopic depth. These results suggest that stereopsis in the absence of luminance cues is supported by a less-contrast-sensitive analogue of the system that supports stereopsis in the presence of luminance cues. The results are also consistent with there being a lower density of disparity-selective mechanisms in the chromatic pathway. The implications of these data for previous studies of stereopsis at isoluminance is discussed.

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