1997 volume 26(9) pages 1121 – 1136
doi:10.1068/p261121

Cite as:
Cormack L K, Stevenson S B, Landers D D, 1997, "Interactions of spatial frequency and unequal monocular contrasts in stereopsis" Perception 26(9) 1121 – 1136

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Interactions of spatial frequency and unequal monocular contrasts in stereopsis

Lawrence K Cormack, Scott B Stevenson, David D Landers

Received 18 September 1996, accepted 2 April 1997

Abstract. Increasing the contrast of just one eye's image degrades stereothresholds; this phenomenon is referred to as the stereo contrast paradox. In experiment one, this paradox was found to be absent in dynamic random-element stereograms; thresholds were simply limited by the lower of the two eyes' contrasts. In experiment two, in which narrowband Gabor targets were used, the paradox was found to be strongest at relatively low spatial frequencies (1 cycle deg-1}). As spatial frequency was increased, the paradox gradually disappeared. At relatively high spatial frequencies (5 cycles deg-1), thresholds were generally limited by the lower of the two eyes' contrasts, as was found for the dynamic noise targets. These results demonstrate the interactions of spatial frequency and contrast in binocular image combination and yield clues as to the different roles which high and low spatial frequencies may play in stereopsis.

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