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Vision Res. 1998 Oct;38(20):3057-68.

Spatial-frequency and contrast tuning of the transient-stereopsis system.

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School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.


The tuning of the transient-stereopsis system to luminance contrast and spatial-frequency (SF) was investigated with narrow-band gabor targets with a constant sigma of 1 degree. They were presented for brief (140 ms) durations and subtended a large (6 degrees) disparity. When dichoptic gabor stimuli were matched in SF (0-5 cpd), transient stereo performance was either uniform across SF or greater at frequencies below 1 cpd. When dichoptic stimuli had unmatched SF (0.5 + 0-5 cpd) and matched contrast (100%), stereo performance was impaired below that of the matched SF condition. Stereo performance with matched SF at 0.5 cpd was impaired when contrast of one eye's image was reduced, demonstrating a contrast-paradox effect (i.e. contrast tuning) for transient stereopsis. Performance with three dichoptic unmatched SF conditions (0.5 and 1.0 cpd; 0.5 and 5.0 cpd; 1.5 and 3.5 cpd) was improved when the contrasts of the low SF gabor was reduced while holding the contrast of the high SF gabor constant at 100%. However stereo performance was not improved by reducing the contrast of a high SF gabor (3.5 cpd) while holding the contrast of the lower SF gabor (1.5 cpd) constant at 100%. We interpret these findings as indicating that transient-stereopsis performance is mediated by a single spatial-channel that has low-pass spatial-frequency sensitivity and which compares the ocular based signals prior to binocular combination so that signals that are not balanced in terms of their strength lead to a weaker binocular signal, as per the model proposed by Kontsevich and Tyler (Vis Res 1994; 3417:2317-2329) for sustained stereopsis.

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