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Kevin R. Brooks, Barbara J. Gillam; The swinging doors of perception: Stereomotion without binocular matching. Journal of Vision 2006;6(7):2. doi: 10.1167/6.7.2.
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Until recently, it was considered necessary for features in the two eyes to be matched before the evaluation of differences in their locations (binocular disparities) could reveal depth information. Motion in depth can also be perceived binocularly from related changes in the locations of matched binocular features. However, unmatched features can arise when a binocular object occludes more distant features in one eye but not the other. The presence and extent of such features can provide quantitative depth information, although perceived depth relative to geometrical predictions may vary from one such arrangement to another. The ability of humans to perceive motion in depth from unmatched stimuli has not previously been explored. Here, we use B. Gillam, S. Blackburn, and K. Nakayama's (1999) “monocular gap” stimuli to investigate perception of motion in depth simulated by a change in the extent of a monocularly occluded feature in a binocular display. Settings of a motion in depth probe revealed that the magnitude of perceived motion in depth is generally as large as that for a stimulus containing matchable binocular features. We show that our stimuli provide disambiguating information not present in similar static stimuli. We conclude that in the computation of motion in depth, a binocular match is not required. A new cue—dynamic half-occlusion—can be used to reach an accurate percept.
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