Stereo matching precedes dichoptic masking

Suzanne P. McKee, Mary J. Bravo, Douglas G. Taylor, Gordon E. Legge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Stereo matching can intervene to prevent dichoptic masking. In a dichoptic masking paradigm we measured the contrast threshold for a bar target, presented to one eye, as a function of the contrast of an identical masking bar, presented at retinal correspondence in the other eye. Confirming previous studies of dichoptic masking with sinusoidal gratings, the test bar thresholds rose proportionally with increasing masking contrast. This threshold elevation was almost nullified when an extra bar was presented to the eye seeing the test stimulus. Release from masking occurred when the disparity between the masking bar and extra bar was < 20 min arc over a range of contrast levels (8-45%), and for bars containing either broad spatial frequency spectra or bars with only high spatial frequencies (peak = 12 c/deg). The latter result rules out an explanation for the release from masking based on contrast discrimination in low spatial frequency channels. The extra bar was effective in releasing the test bar from masking as long as the extra bar's contrast was greater than about one-fifth the contrast of the mask, a result that suggests that there is a contrast threshold for stereo matching. We interpret our findings to indicate that a stage of stereo matching occurs prior to the neural site limiting dichoptic contrast discrimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1047-1060
Number of pages14
JournalVision Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1994


  • Binocular vision
  • Contrast masking
  • Retinal correspondence
  • Stereopsis


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