The key problem of stereoscopic vision is traditionally defined as accurately finding the positional shifts of corresponding object features between left and right images. Here, we demonstrate that the problem must be considered in a four-dimensional parameter space; with respect not only to shifts in space (X, Y), but also spatial frequency (SF) and orientation (OR). The proposed model sums outputs of binocular energy units linearly over the multi-dimensional V1 parameter space (X, Y, SF, OR). Theoretical analyses and physiological experiments show that many binocular neurons achieve sharp binocular tuning properties by pooling the output of multiple neurons with relatively broad tuning. Pooling in the space domain sharpens disparity-selective responses in the SF domain so that the responses to combinations of unmatched left–right SFs are attenuated. Conversely, pooling in the SF domain sharpens disparity selectivity in the space domain, reducing the possibility of false matches. Analogous effects are observed for the OR domain in that the spatial pooling sharpens the binocular tuning in the OR domain. Such neurons become selective to relative OR disparity. Therefore, pooling allows the visual system to refine binocular information into a form more desirable for stereopsis.
This article is part of the themed issue ‘Vision in our three-dimensional world’.
One contribution of 15 to a theme issue ‘Vision in our three-dimensional world’.
- Accepted April 5, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.