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Inna Tsirlin, Laurie M. Wilcox, Robert S. Allison; Da Vinci decoded: Does da Vinci stereopsis rely on disparity?. Journal of Vision 2012;12(12):2. doi: 10.1167/12.12.2.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In conventional stereopsis, the depth between two objects is computed based on the retinal disparity in the position of matching points in the two eyes. When an object is occluded by another object in the scene, so that it is visible only in one eye, its retinal disparity cannot be computed. Nakayama and Shimojo (1990) found that a percept of quantitative depth between the two objects could still be established for such stimuli and proposed that this percept is based on the constraints imposed by occlusion geometry. They named this and other occlusion-based depth phenomena “da Vinci stereopsis.” Subsequent research found quantitative depth based on occlusion geometry in several other classes of stimuli grouped under the term da Vinci stereopsis. However, Nakayama and Shimojo's findings were later brought into question by Gillam, Cook, and Blackburn (2003), who suggested that quantitative depth in their stimuli was perceived based on conventional disparity. In order to understand whether da Vinci stereopsis relies on one type of mechanism or whether its function is stimulus dependent we examine the nature and source of depth in the class of stimuli used by Nakayama and Shimojo (1990). We use three different psychophysical and computational methods to show that the most likely source for depth in these stimuli is occlusion geometry. Based on these experiments and previous data we discuss the potential mechanisms responsible for processing depth from monocular features in da Vinci stereopsis.
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