Disparity increment thresholds for gratings

J Vis. 2004 Mar 16;4(3):156-68. doi: 10.1167/4.3.3.


The classic increment disparity threshold function rises steeply, usually exponentially, with disparity pedestal. Thus a smaller difference in stereoscopic depth can be resolved the nearer it is to the fixation plane. This result has been obtained with relatively broad-bandwidth stimuli. We show here that the increment threshold function for narrow-bandwidth stimuli differs subtly from the classic function: Thresholds vary only modestly over a +/- quarter-cycle pedestal range, by a factor of about 2, and frequently show a dip, yielding best stereo acuity not at the fixation plane but at moderate disparities (20 degrees-30 degrees in phase) on either side of it. Though the dip has not been noted previously, it is consistent with models of disparity processing in which filter sensitivity or selectivity is greatest at a disparity of zero. Moreover, the relatively flat increment threshold function observed at any one scale is compatible with a steeply rising function for broad-bandwidth stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Depth Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology*
  • Vision Disparity / physiology*
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology