Early spatial vision: a view through two eyes

Mark Georgeson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstractpeer-review


Simple features such as edges are the building blocks of spatial vision, and so I ask: how arevisual features and their properties (location, blur and contrast) derived from the responses ofspatial filters in early vision; how are these elementary visual signals combined across the twoeyes; and when are they not combined? Our psychophysical evidence from blur-matchingexperiments strongly supports a model in which edges are found at the spatial peaks ofresponse of odd-symmetric receptive fields (gradient operators), and their blur B is givenby the spatial scale of the most active operator. This model can explain some surprisingaspects of blur perception: edges look sharper when they are low contrast, and when theirlength is made shorter. Our experiments on binocular fusion of blurred edges show that singlevision is maintained for disparities up to about 2.5*B, followed by diplopia or suppression ofone edge at larger disparities. Edges of opposite polarity never fuse. Fusion may be served bybinocular combination of monocular gradient operators, but that combination - involvingbinocular summation and interocular suppression - is not completely understood.In particular, linear summation (supported by psychophysical and physiological evidence)predicts that fused edges should look more blurred with increasing disparity (up to 2.5*B),but results surprisingly show that edge blur appears constant across all disparities, whetherfused or diplopic. Finally, when edges of very different blur are shown to the left and righteyes fusion may not occur, but perceived blur is not simply given by the sharper edge, nor bythe higher contrast. Instead, it is the ratio of contrast to blur that matters: the edge with theAbstracts 1237steeper gradient dominates perception. The early stages of binocular spatial vision speak thelanguage of luminance gradients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1238
Number of pages2
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Invited Talks: Geoffrey Burton Lecture, 2015


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