Abstract

We seek to determine the relationship between threshold and suprathreshold perception for position offset and stereoscopic depth perception under conditions that elevate their respective thresholds. Two threshold-elevating conditions were used: (1) increasing the interline gap and (2) dioptric blur. Although increasing the interline gap increases position (Vernier) offset and stereoscopic disparity thresholds substantially, the perception of suprathreshold position offset and stereoscopic depth remains unchanged. Perception of suprathreshold position offset also remains unchanged when the Vernier threshold is elevated by dioptric blur. We show that such normalization of suprathreshold position offset can be attributed to the topographical-map-based encoding of position. On the other hand, dioptric blur increases the stereoscopic disparity thresholds and reduces the perceived suprathreshold stereoscopic depth, which can be accounted for by a disparity-computation model in which the activities of absolute disparity encoders are multiplied by a Gaussian weighting function that is centered on the horopter. Overall, the statement “equal suprathreshold perception occurs in threshold-elevated and unelevated conditions when the stimuli are equally above their corresponding thresholds” describes the results better than the statement “suprathreshold stimuli are perceived as equal when they are equal multiples of their respective threshold values.”

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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