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The power of stereopsis in generating percepts of three-dimensional (3-D) structure is now so familiar that it has

Summary: The power of stereopsis in generating percepts of three-
dimensional (3-D) structure is now so familiar that it has
become a staple of our entertainment diet. It is difficult not
to marvel at the transformation of flat, two-dimensional im-
ages into a full 3-D percept that causes objects to `jump off'
the page. This review describes some recent results that re-
veal the potency of stereovision in shaping our perception of
the world, and sketches some general theoretical insights
about visual processing that have been gained from this field
of research.
To understand the computational problem the visual
system must solve in stereopsis, consider how images are
generated when natural scenes are viewed binocularly. Vision
depends on how light is reflected onto our two retinal
surfaces from external surfaces in 3-D space. Surfaces can
vary in reflectance, depth, and transmittance, all of which
can affect the way that images are formed on the two
retinae. One natural way to think about vision is as a reverse
image formation process: given a series of images, what are
their most likely causes? To answer this question in stereo-


Source: Anderson, Barton L. - School of Psychology, University of Sydney


Collections: Biology and Medicine