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Amodal completion and the perception of depth without binocular correspondence

Half-occlusions and illusory contours have recently been used to show that depth can be perceived in the absence of binocular correspondence and that there is more to stereopsis than solving the correspondence problem. The present study shows a new way for depth to be assigned in the absence of binocular correspondence, namely amodal completion. Four Ss (aged 27-37 yrs) participated in experiments where a black-and-white object was stereoscopically placed behind a grey occluder. It was predicted that in these instances of "logical occlusion" depth would be well perceived, even in the experimental condition when binocular correspondence was not available. Two additional conditions were created to control for monocular or alternative strategies that the observers could use to solve the scene. In these conditions (condition 3, straight occluder; condition 4, crooked occluder), the black-and-white object was stereoscopically placed in front of the occluder. Although an occluder removed all possibility of direct binocular matching, Ss consistently assigned the correct depth (convexity or concavity) to partially occluded "folded cards" stimuli. These data highlight the importance of more global, surface-based processes in stereopsis (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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