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Journal Article

Disparity and shading cues cooperate for surface interpolation


Vuong,  QC
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Vuong, Q., Domini, F., & Caudek, C. (2006). Disparity and shading cues cooperate for surface interpolation. Perception, 35(2), 145-155. doi:10.1068/p5315.

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In two experiments, we tested whether disparity and shading cues cooperated for surface interpolation. Observers adjusted a probe dot to lie on a surface specified either by a sparse disparity field, a continuous stereo-shading or monocular-shading gradient, or both cues. Observers’ adjustments were very consistent with disparity information but their adjustments were much more variable with shading information. However, observers significantly improved their precision when both cues were present, relative to when only disparity information was present. These results cannot be explained by assuming that separate modules analyze disparity and shading information, even if observers’ optimally combined these cues. Rather we attribute this improvement to a process through which the shading gradient constrains the disparity field in regions where disparities cannot be directly measured. This cooperative process may be based on the natural covariation existing between these cues produced by the retinal projection of smooth surfaces.