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Depth from shading and disparity in humans and monkeys



A stimulus display was devised that enabled us to examine how effectively monkeys and humans can process shading and disparity cues for depth perception. The display allowed us to present these cues separately, in concert and in conflict with each other. An oddities discrimination task was used. Humans as well as monkeys were able to utilize both shading and disparity cues but shading cues were more effectively processed by humans. Humans and monkeys performed better and faster when the two cues were presented conjointly rather than singly. Performance was significantly degraded when the two cues were presented in conflict with each other suggesting that these cues are processed interactively at higher levels in the visual system. The fact that monkeys can effectively utilize depth information derived from shading and disparity indicates that they are a good animal model for the study of the neural mechanisms that underlie the processing of these two depth cues.


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Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Peter H. Schiller, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139. E-mail:


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Depth from shading and disparity in humans and monkeys



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