Planarity and segmentation in stereoscopic matching

Perception. 1988;17(6):753-82. doi: 10.1068/p170753.


The matching of stereograms which contain periodic patterns suggests ways in which the stereo correspondence problem may be solved in human vision. The stereograms seem to be segmented by coarse-scale features. Within each segment a set of matches approximating a plane is chosen. In regions with periodic patterns there may be many such planar sets, and the disparity of coarse-scale features seems to guide the choice of a particular set. This emphasis on planarity may reflect the occurrence of correlation-like operations in cortical neurons. An attractive possibility is that segmentation effectively delimits areas of the visual field within which disparities are likely to be slow changing (eg local tangent planes to surfaces) so that the correlation sums evaluated in a segment can give the best estimate of depth. A mechanism of this kind cannot account for all of stereo matching, since not all visual objects are well described by ensembles of planes. But it is likely to be a component of the matching system which is particularly important where images are 'noisy' and averaging is needed to extract reliable disparities.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Depth Perception* / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lighting
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Ocular Physiological Phenomena
  • Optical Illusions / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Fields