A novel phenomenon in stereopsis can be observed when viewing binocularly stabilized retinal images. This phenomenon is particularly impressive for random-dot stereoscopic images in foveal vision. If initially the left and right images are brought within Panum’s fusional area (6-min arc alignment), fusion and stereopsis are perceived; the images can then be pulled apart symmetrically by about 2 deg in the horizontal direction without loss of stereopsis or fusion. The images are actually pulled apart on the retinae, since the binocular retinal stabilization compensates for the convergence-divergence motions of the eyes; hence a supra-retinal function must be responsible for this type of fusion. If the pulling proceeds too fast, or exceeds the 2-deg limit, or if the stimulus is occluded briefly, the fusional mechanism fails and the fused image abruptly breaks apart into two separate images which have to be brought within Panum’s area again to re-establish fusion. For line stimuli, the maximum disparity without loss of fusion is much less than for random-dot patterns; it is always largest for disparity in the horizontal direction and is less in the vertical direction. These findings indicate that stereopsis and the classically conceived corresponding points greatly depend both on the class of stimulus used and on the recent history of the stimulation.
© 1967 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article
CorrectionsDerek Fender and Bela Julesz, "Erratum," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57, 1402-1402 (1967)