Computational Psychophysics of Stereoscopic Depth Perceptions

  • Hanspeter A. Mallot
Conference paper
Part of the Informatik aktuell book series (INFORMAT)


Stereoscopic depth perception is based on the differences between the images of the two eyes which, in turn, are due to the differences of viewpoint (parallax) or specular reflectance. The mechanisms of stereoscopic depth perception have been studied intensively in Psychophysics, Neurophysiology, and, most recently, in Computer Vision. For review see Poggio & Poggio (1984), Arditi (1986), Dhond & Aggarwal (1989), Regan, Frisby, Poggio, Schor & Tyler (1990) and Blake & Wilson (1991). Most of the more recent work in all of these approaches is strongly influenced by the seminal book by Bela Julesz (1971) which treats stereo vision as a problem of information processing. Three major question are:
  1. 1.

    What stage of (uniocular) image processing feeds into the binocular comparison mechanism? Julesz showed that simple local image features rather that more complex object descriptions suffice, i.e., that stereopsis is a process of early vision (see also Julesz 1991).

  2. 2.

    What exactly is the binocular comparison operation? Especially in images of points in various depth positions, correspondences between image features depicting the same 3D object feature have to be found. Julesz proposed a cooperative, neural-network type mechanism for solving the correspondence problem.

  3. 3.

    What is the result of stereo processing? Julesz distinguishes two types of stereopsis: global stereopsis does not establish detailed correspondences and leads to the perception of planes or smooth surfaces (sometimes even subjective surfaces) in depth. Feature-based or local stereopsis results in a sparse disparity map with one disparity value assigned to each pair of corresponding image features.



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanspeter A. Mallot
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für biologische KybernetikTübingenGermany

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