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Contrast masking reveals spatial-frequency channels in stereopsis

Prince, SJD; Eagle, RA; Rogers, BJ; (1998) Contrast masking reveals spatial-frequency channels in stereopsis. PERCEPTION , 27 (11) 1345 - 1355.

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Yang and Blake (1991 Vision Research 31 1177-1189) investigated depth detection in stereograms containing spatially narrow-band signal and noise energies. The resulting masking functions led them to conclude that stereo vision was subserved by only two channels peaking at 3 and 5 cycles deg(-1). Glennerster and Parker (1997 Vision Research 37 2143-2152) re-analysed these data, taking into account the relative attenuation of low- and high-frequency noise masks as a consequence of the modulation transfer function (MTF) of the early visual system. They transformed the data using an estimated MTF and found that peak masking was always at the signal frequency across a 2.8 octave range. Here we determine the MTF of the early visual system for individual subjects by measuring contrast thresholds in a 2AFC orientation-discrimination task (horizontal vs vertical) using band-limited stimuli presented in a 7 deg x 7 deg window at 4 deg eccentricity, The filtered stimuli had a bandwidth of 1.5 octaves in frequency and 15 degrees in orientation at half-height. In the subsequent stereo experiment, the same (vertical) filters were used to generate both signal and noise bands. The noise was binocularly uncorrelated and scaled by each subject's MTF Subjects performed a 2AFC depth-discrimination task (crossed vs uncrossed disparity) to determine threshold signal contrast as a function of signal and mask frequency. The resulting functions showed that Peak masking was at the signal frequency over the three octave range tested (0.4 - 3.2 cycles deg(-1)). Comparison with simple luminance-masking data from experiments with similar stimuli shows that bandwidths for stereo masking are considerably larger. These data suggest that there an multiple bandpass channels feeding into stereopsis but that their characteristics differ from luminance channels in pattern vision.

Type: Article
Title: Contrast masking reveals spatial-frequency channels in stereopsis
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/148667
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