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Journal Of Vision


Three studies, involving a total of 145 observers examined quantitative theories of the overestimation of perceived optical slant. The first two studies investigated the depth/width anisotropies on positive and negative slant in both pitch and yaw at 2 and 8 m using calibrated immersive virtual environments. Observers made judgments of the relative lengths of extents that were frontal with those that were in depth. The physical aspect ratio that was perceived as 1:1 was determined for each slant. The observed anisotropies can be modeled by assuming overestimation in perceived slant. Three one-parameter slant perception models (angular expansion, affine depth compression caused by mis-scaling of binocular disparity, and intrinsic bias) were compared. The angular expansion and the affine depth compression models provided significantly better fits to the aspect ratio data than the intrinsic bias model did. The affine model required depth compression at the 2 m distance; however, that was much more than the depth compression measured directly in the third study using the same apparatus. The present results suggest that depth compression based on mis-scaling of binocular disparity may contribute to slant overestimation, especially as viewing distance increases, but also suggest that a functional rather than mechanistic account may be more appropriate for explaining biases in perceived slant in near space.


This work is freely available courtesy of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

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