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Barbara J. Gillam, Harold A. Sedgwick, Phillip Marlow; Local and non-local effects on surface-mediated stereoscopic depth. Journal of Vision 2011;11(6):5. doi: 10.1167/11.6.5.
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The magnitude and precision of stereoscopic depth between two probes is often determined by the disparity each has to a common background. If stereoscopic slant of the background is underestimated, a bias is introduced in the PSE of the probes (G. Mitchison & G. Westheimer, 1984). Using random dot stimuli, we show here how more remote surfaces can influence probe PSE via their influence on perceived background surface slant. The bias was reduced when frontal flanking surfaces were placed above and below the background surface, increasing its perceived slant. In a similar experiment, the flankers were slanted and the central background surface was frontal. For flankers alone, probe bias did not diminish up to a 4.4° separation of flankers and probes. When the central surface was present, the effect of the flankers on probe bias was mediated by this surface and diminished with flanker separation, presumably because of the diminishing contrast slant of the background surface. Stereoscopic depth between probes is thus influenced by a common background surface, by neighboring surfaces acting (contiguously or non-contiguously) on the background surface, and by distant surfaces acting directly on the probes.
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