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Vision Res. 2002 Jun;42(12):1535-45.

Interactions between chromatic- and luminance-contrast-sensitive stereopsis mechanisms.

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Department of Psychology, University of Glasgow, 58 Hillhead Street, G12 8QB, Glasgow, UK.


It is well known that chromatic information can assist in solving the stereo correspondence problem. It has also been suggested that there are two independent first-order stereopsis mechanisms, one sensitive to chromatic contrast and the other sensitive to luminance contrast (Vision Research 37 (1997) 1271). Could the effect of chromatic information on stereo correspondence be subserved by interactions between these mechanisms? To address this question, disparity thresholds (1/stereoacuity) were measured using 0.5 cpd Gabor patches. The stimuli possessed different relative amounts of chromatic and luminance contrast which could be correlated or anti-correlated between the eyes. Stereoscopic performance with these compound stimuli was compared to that with purely isoluminant and isochromatic stimuli at different contrasts. It was found that anti-correlated chromatic contrast severely disrupted stereopsis with achromatic stimuli and that anti-correlated luminance contrast severely disrupted stereopsis with chromatic stimuli. Less dramatic, but still significant, was the improvement in stereoacuity obtained using correlated colour and luminance contrast. These data are consistent with there being positive and negative interactions between chromatic and achromatic stereopsis mechanisms that take place after the initial encoding of disparity information, but before the extraction of stereoscopic depth. These interactions can be modelled satisfactorily assuming probability summation of depth sign information between independent mechanisms.

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