Stereoscopic depth perception from oblique phase disparities
In order to understand the role of oblique retinal image disparities in the perception of stereoscopic depth, we measured the depth perceived from random dot stereograms in which phase disparities were introduced in a selected band of stimulus orientations. A band of orientation was defined by a center orientation that ranged from 7.5 (near vertical) to 82.5 o[rientation]deg and by a bandwidth that was defined as the difference between the highest and the lowest orientation in the band. The
... widths tested were 15, 30 and 45 odeg. A constant phase disparity of 90 p[hase]deg was introduced in all of the oriented spatial frequency components within the orientation band and the perceived depth of each stimulus was matched using a small square binocular probe. For each bandwidth, perceived depth increased with an increase in the center orientation up to approximately 60 odeg. This suggests that the human stereovision system derives a large proportion of information about perceived stereoscopic depth from oblique phase disparities. Simulations using an energy model of stereoscopic depth perception indicate that oblique phase disparities are unlikely to be processed by neural mechanisms tuned to near-vertical orientations within the stimulus. Our results therefore suggest that oblique retinal disparities are initially detected as oblique phase disparities by binocular mechanisms tuned to oblique orientations. Because the perceived depth from oblique phase disparities is consistent with the trigonometrically determined equivalent horizontal disparities, we presume that the information from oblique phase disparities is included in the visual systemÕs computation of the horizontal retinal disparity.