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Ying Yu, James T. Todd, Alexander A. Petrov; Failures of stereoscopic shape constancy over changes of viewing distance and size for bilaterally symmetric polyhedra. Journal of Vision 2021;21(6):5. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.6.5.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Two shape matching experiments examined the effects of viewing distance and object size on observers’ judgments of 3D metric shape under binocular viewing. Unlike previous studies on this topic, the stimuli were specifically designed to satisfy the minimal conditions for computing veridical shape from symmetry. Concretely, the stimuli were complex, mirror-symmetric polyhedra whose symmetry planes were oriented at an angle of 45o relative to the line of sight in a shape-matching task. Although it is mathematically possible to accurately compute the 3D shapes of these stimuli using relatively simple algorithms, the results indicated that human observers are unable to do so. Indeed, the apparent shapes of the objects were systematically expanded or compressed in depth as a function of viewing distance, in exactly the same way as has been reported for simpler stimuli that do not satisfy the minimal conditions for an accurate computational analysis. For objects presented at near distances, we also obtained statistically significant effects of object size on observers’ shape judgments.
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