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Sensors for impossible stimuli may solve the stereo correspondence problem

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jenny ReadORCiD



One of the fundamental challenges of binocular vision is that objects project to different positions on the two retinas (binocular disparity). Neurons in visual cortex show two distinct types of tuning to disparity, position and phase disparity, which are the results of differences in receptive field location and profile, respectively. Here, we point out that phase disparity does not occur in natural images. Why, then, should the brain encode it? We propose that phase-disparity detectors help to work out which feature in the left eye corresponds to a given feature in the right. This correspondence problem is plagued by false matches: regions of the image that look similar, but do not correspond to the same object. We show that phase-disparity neurons tend to be more strongly activated by false matches. Thus, they may act as 'lie detectors', enabling the true correspondence to be deduced by a process of elimination. © 2007 Nature Publishing Group.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Read JCA, Cumming BG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nature Neuroscience

Year: 2007

Volume: 10

Issue: 10

Pages: 1322-1328

Print publication date: 01/10/2007

ISSN (print): 1097-6256

ISSN (electronic): 1546-1726

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/nn1951

PubMed id: 17828262


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Funder referenceFunder name
NIH0013247660Intramural NIH HHS
Z01 EY000404-06Intramural NIH HHS