Abstract

We report that after extensive training, expert adults can accurately report the number, up to six, of transparent overlapping depth planes portrayed by brief (400 ms or 200 ms) random-element stereoscopic displays, and can well discriminate six from seven planes. Naïve subjects did poorly above three planes. Displays contained seven rows of 12 randomly located ×’s or +’s; jittering the disparities and number in each row to remove spurious cues had little effect on accuracy. Removing the central 3° of the 10° display to eliminate foveal vision hardly reduced the number of reportable planes. Experts could report how many of six planes contained +’s when the remainder contained ×’s, and most learned to report up to six planes in reverse contrast (left eye white +’s; right eye black +’s). Long-term training allowed some experts to reach eight depth planes. Results suggest that adult stereoscopic vision can learn to distinguish the outputs of six or more statistically independent, contrast-insensitive, narrowly tuned, asymmetric disparity channels in parallel.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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