Monocular transparency and unpaired stereopsis

Philip M. Grove*, Kevin R. Brooks, Barton L. Anderson, Barbara J. Gillam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Howard and Duke [Howard, I. P. & Duke, P. A. (2003). Monocular transparency generates quantitative depth. Vision Research, 43, 2615-2621] recently proposed a new source of binocular information they claim is used to recover depth in stereoscopic displays. They argued that these displays lack conventional disparity and that the metrical depth experienced results from transparency rather than occlusion relations. Using a variety of modified versions of their stimuli, we show here that the conditions for transparency are not required to elicit the depth experienced in their stereograms. We demonstrate that quantitative and precise depth depended not on the presence of transparency but horizontal contours of the same contrast polarity. Depth was attenuated, particularly at larger target offsets, when horizontal contours had opposite contrast polarity for at least a portion of their length. We also show that a demonstration they used to control for the role of horizontal contours can be understood with previously identified mechanisms involved in the computations associated with stereoscopic occlusion. These results imply that the findings reported by Howard and Duke can be understood with mechanisms responsible for the computation of binocular disparity and stereoscopic occlusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1695-1705
Number of pages11
JournalVision Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

An erratum exists for this article and can be found in Vision Research, vol. 46, issue 18, pp. 3041-3053. DOIs: 10.1016/j.visres.2006.04.013 (p. 3041) and 10.1016/j.visres.2006.05.003 (pp. 3042-3053)


  • binocular disparity
  • contrast polarity
  • monocular gap stereopsis
  • monocular occlusion
  • stereopsis
  • transparency


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