Abstract

The precision of depth discrimination has been measured in a two-rod test apparatus involving real-depth cues. The effects of two variables have been studied: (a) the level of equal retinal illuminance presented to the two eyes; and (b) the difference in the level of the retinal illuminance presented to the two eyes. It has been found that depth discrimination in this test varies as a function of the level of equal retinal illuminance presented to the two eyes in much the same way that acuity or intensity discrimination vary with luminance. Stereoscopic threshold angles vary more than 19:1 over some five log units of variation in illuminance.

Unequal retinal illuminance presented to the two eyes at any given illuminance level has a comparatively small deleterious effect upon the precision of depth discrimination. This effect progressively increases as the inequality of retinal illuminance is increased.

These results have significance for photochemical theories of vision and for the classical theory of binocular space discrimination.

© 1959 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. W. A. Nagel, Z. Psychol. 27, 264–266 (1902).
  2. C. G. Mueller and V. V. Lloyd, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (U. S.) 34, 223–227 (1948).
    [Crossref]
  3. S. Hecht, Physiol. Revs. 17, 239–290 (1937).
  4. K. N. Ogle and J. Groch, Arch. Ophthalmol. (Chicago) 56, 878–895 (1956).
    [Crossref]
  5. A. Lit and A. Hyman, Am. J. Optom. 28, 564–580 (1951).
    [Crossref]
  6. H. J. Howard, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 2, 656–675 (1919).
  7. C. H. Graham, Handbook of Experimental Psychology, edited by S. S. Stevens (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1951), p. 888.
  8. S. Hecht and E. U. Mintz, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 593–612 (1939).

1956 (1)

K. N. Ogle and J. Groch, Arch. Ophthalmol. (Chicago) 56, 878–895 (1956).
[Crossref]

1951 (1)

A. Lit and A. Hyman, Am. J. Optom. 28, 564–580 (1951).
[Crossref]

1948 (1)

C. G. Mueller and V. V. Lloyd, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (U. S.) 34, 223–227 (1948).
[Crossref]

1939 (1)

S. Hecht and E. U. Mintz, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 593–612 (1939).

1937 (1)

S. Hecht, Physiol. Revs. 17, 239–290 (1937).

1919 (1)

H. J. Howard, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 2, 656–675 (1919).

1902 (1)

W. A. Nagel, Z. Psychol. 27, 264–266 (1902).

Graham, C. H.

C. H. Graham, Handbook of Experimental Psychology, edited by S. S. Stevens (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1951), p. 888.

Groch, J.

K. N. Ogle and J. Groch, Arch. Ophthalmol. (Chicago) 56, 878–895 (1956).
[Crossref]

Hecht, S.

S. Hecht and E. U. Mintz, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 593–612 (1939).

S. Hecht, Physiol. Revs. 17, 239–290 (1937).

Howard, H. J.

H. J. Howard, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 2, 656–675 (1919).

Hyman, A.

A. Lit and A. Hyman, Am. J. Optom. 28, 564–580 (1951).
[Crossref]

Lit, A.

A. Lit and A. Hyman, Am. J. Optom. 28, 564–580 (1951).
[Crossref]

Lloyd, V. V.

C. G. Mueller and V. V. Lloyd, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (U. S.) 34, 223–227 (1948).
[Crossref]

Mintz, E. U.

S. Hecht and E. U. Mintz, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 593–612 (1939).

Mueller, C. G.

C. G. Mueller and V. V. Lloyd, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (U. S.) 34, 223–227 (1948).
[Crossref]

Nagel, W. A.

W. A. Nagel, Z. Psychol. 27, 264–266 (1902).

Ogle, K. N.

K. N. Ogle and J. Groch, Arch. Ophthalmol. (Chicago) 56, 878–895 (1956).
[Crossref]

Am. J. Ophthalmol. (1)

H. J. Howard, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 2, 656–675 (1919).

Am. J. Optom. (1)

A. Lit and A. Hyman, Am. J. Optom. 28, 564–580 (1951).
[Crossref]

Arch. Ophthalmol. (Chicago) (1)

K. N. Ogle and J. Groch, Arch. Ophthalmol. (Chicago) 56, 878–895 (1956).
[Crossref]

J. Gen. Physiol. (1)

S. Hecht and E. U. Mintz, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 593–612 (1939).

Physiol. Revs. (1)

S. Hecht, Physiol. Revs. 17, 239–290 (1937).

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (U. S.) (1)

C. G. Mueller and V. V. Lloyd, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (U. S.) 34, 223–227 (1948).
[Crossref]

Z. Psychol. (1)

W. A. Nagel, Z. Psychol. 27, 264–266 (1902).

Other (1)

C. H. Graham, Handbook of Experimental Psychology, edited by S. S. Stevens (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1951), p. 888.

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Figures (3)

F. 1
F. 1

Stereoscopic threshold angle, logηAD, as a function of level of illuminance of the left eye, logEL. The number accompanying each curve specifies the magnitude of the prevailing inequality of binocular retinal illuminance, log(ER/EL). Each point is based on the combined data of two observers and represents the mean value of the average deviations of eight sets of 20 equality readings.

F. 2
F. 2

Stereoscopic threshold angle, logηAD, as a function of magnitude of inequality of the binocular retinal illuminance, log(ER/EL). The number accompanying each curve specifies the magnitude of the prevailing level of illuminance of the left eye, logEL. Each point is based on the combined data of two observers and represents the mean value of the average deviations of eight sets of 20 equality readings.

F. 3
F. 3

Stereoscopic threshold angle, logηAD, as a function of magnitude of inequality of the binocular retinal illuminance, log(ER/EL). The number accompanying each curve specifies the magnitude of the prevailing level of illuminance of the left eye, logEL. Each point is based on the combined data of two observers and represents the mean value of the average deviations of two sets of 20 equality readings obtained in the preliminary experimental series.

Tables (1)

Tables Icon

Table I Depth-discrimination data. Depth-discrimination (stereoscopic) thresholds obtained at various illuminance levels of the left eye, logEL, under each of six specified conditions of increasing inequality of binocular retinal illuminance, log(ER/EL). The magnitude of the stereoscopic threshold angle, ηAD, is given for observers F.C. and R.B. in terms of the mean value of the average deviations of four sets of 20 equality readings taken under each of the given conditions of illuminance. The corresponding mean angular magnitude of the constant errors of the equality settings is given by ηΔR.

Equations (1)

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η t = [ 206 265 ( b ) / R S ] [ δ t / R V ] ,