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 journalComment/opinion

1 Citation (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 demonstrated that quantitative and precise depth depended not on the presence of transparency but on the presence of 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 Howard and Duke used to control for the role of horizontal contours can be understood as an example of Gillam et al. 's Gillam, B.J., Blackburn, S., & Nakayama, K. (1999). Stereopsis based on monocular gaps: metrical coding of depth and slant without matching contours. Vision Research, 39, 493-502 monocular gap stereopsis; a form of binocular occlusion. In summary the findings reported by Howard and Duke can be understood by known processes for the computation of binocular disparity and binocular occlusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3042-3053
Number of pages12
JournalVision Research
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


Bibliographical note

This is the correct, revised article of a paper accidentally published in Vision Research, vol. 46, issue 10, pp. 1695-1705. DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2005.05.006. See erratum note on p. 3041. DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2006.04.013.


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

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