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Farley Norman, Anna M. Clayton, Sarah R. Thompson, Cassandra F. Shular; Aging and the perception of depth and 3-D shape from motion parallax. Journal of Vision 2004;4(8):477. doi: 10.1167/4.8.477.
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The ability of younger and older observers to perceive 3-D shape and depth from patterns of motion parallax was investigated in two experiments. In Experiment 1, the observers discriminated between differently curved 3-dimensional (3-D) surfaces in the presence of varying amounts of “noise”. In Experiment 2, the 3-D shape of the surfaces was held constant and the amount of simulated front-to-back depth was varied; the observers estimated the amount of depth they perceived. The results showed that the effects of age were strongly task dependent. Overall, the younger observers' recognition accuracies in Experiment 1 were almost 60 percent higher than those of the older observers. In contrast, there was no age effect in Experiment 2: the younger and older observers' perceived the same amounts of depth. Older observers can effectively perceive variations in depth from patterns of motion parallax, but their ability to discriminate 3-D shape is significantly compromised.
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