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J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1984 Apr;10(2):258-75.

Form and depth in global stereopsis.


Three experiments were performed to investigate the role of vergence and the relationship between form and depth processes in global steropsis by comparing global and classical stereopsis. In the first experiment, the speed of stereoscopic resolution as a function of initial fixation-target distance was measured to discover the role of vergence in stereopsis with the random-dot and contoured stereograms. In the second experiment, the accuracy of form and depth discrimination as a function of fixation-target distance was measured using brief stimulus exposure (150 ms) to examine the nature of form and depth processing in global stereopsis. In the third experiment, the speed of resolving random-dot stereograms in the presence or absence of juxtaposed contoured stereograms was observed to examine the interaction of global stereopsis and classical stereopsis. The conclusions of these studies are summarized as follows: First, vergence plays a critical role in the solution of the random-dot stereograms but not in the solution of contoured stereograms. Second, performance with the contoured stereograms is better than with the random-dot stereograms in terms of both speed and accuracy. Third, in random-dot stereograms, discrimination of form is independent of and more accurate than discrimination of depth. Fourth, again for random-dot stereograms, the disparity of target relative to fixation systematically affects discrimination of form but not discrimination of depth. Fifth, a rapid reduction in reaction time over practice occurs for both types of stereograms. Finally, strong interference with the solution of the random-dot stereograms by the monocular contour occurs when the two kinds of stimuli are present simultaneously.

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