Abstract

Contrast thresholds for stereoscopic depth identification (crossed or uncrossed) were measured as a function of disparity by use of isoluminant (red–green) and isochromatic (yellow–black) 0.5 cycles/deg Gabor patches. For the purposes of comparison, stimulus contrasts were scaled by their respective detection thresholds. The Gabor patches could be either vertically or horizontally oriented. It was found that the disparity dependence of the depth-identification contrast thresholds was similar for both chromatic and luminance patterns if the stimuli were vertically oriented, with the overall level of performance worse for the chromatic patterns by a factor of ~2 (6 dB). With horizontal patterns this difference was much larger, by a factor of ~7 (17 dB). These results suggest first that stereopsis in the absence of luminance cues is supported by a less-contrast-sensitive linear mechanism than that which supports stereopsis in the presence of luminance cues and second that the corresponding nonlinear chromatic stereo mechanism is either nonexistent or very weak. The implications of these data for previous studies of stereopsis at isoluminance is discussed.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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