All Publications

  • Cognitive penetrability of scene representations based on horizontal image disparities. Scientific reports Chen, Y. D., Kaestner, M., Norcia, A. M. 2022; 12 (1): 17902


    The structure of natural scenes is signaled by many visual cues. Principal amongst them are the binocular disparities created by the laterally separated viewpoints of the two eyes. Disparity cues are believed to be processed hierarchically, first in terms of local measurements of absolute disparity and second in terms of more global measurements of relative disparity that allow extraction of the depth structure of a scene. Psychophysical and oculomotor studies have suggested that relative disparities are particularly relevant to perception, whilst absolute disparities are not. Here, we compare neural responses to stimuli that isolate the absolute disparity cue with stimuli that contain additional relative disparity cues, using the high temporal resolution of EEG to determine the temporal order of absolute and relative disparity processing. By varying the observers' task, we assess the extent to which each cue is cognitively penetrable. We find that absolute disparity is extracted before relative disparity, and that task effects arise only at or after the extraction of relative disparity. Our results indicate a hierarchy of disparity processing stages leading to the formation of a proto-object representation upon which higher cognitive processes can act.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-022-22670-7

    View details for PubMedID 36284130

  • Dynamics of absolute and relative disparity processing in human visual cortex. NeuroImage Kaestner, M., Evans, M. L., Chen, Y. D., Norcia, A. M. 2022: 119186


    Cortical processing of binocular disparity is believed to begin in V1 where cells are sensitive to absolute disparity, followed by the extraction of relative disparity in higher visual areas. While much is known about the cortical distribution and spatial tuning of disparity-selective neurons, the relationship between their spatial and temporal properties is less well understood. Here, we use steady-state Visual Evoked Potentials and dynamic random dot stereograms to characterize the temporal dynamics of spatial mechanisms in human visual cortex that are primarily sensitive to either absolute or relative disparity. Stereograms alternated between disparate and non-disparate states at 2 Hz. By varying the disparity-defined spatial frequency content of the stereograms from a planar surface to corrugated ones, we biased responses towards absolute vs. relative disparities. Reliable Components Analysis was used to derive two dominant sources from the 128 channel EEG records. The first component (RC1) was maximal over the occipital pole. In RC1, first harmonic responses were sustained, tuned for corrugation frequency, and sensitive to the presence of disparity references, consistent with prior psychophysical sensitivity measurements. By contrast, the second harmonic, associated with transient processing, was not spatially tuned and was indifferent to references, consistent with it being generated by an absolute disparity mechanism. Thus, our results reveal a duplex coding strategy in the disparity domain, where relative disparities are computed via sustained mechanisms and absolute disparities are computed via transient mechanisms.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119186

    View details for PubMedID 35398280

  • Asymmetries between achromatic and chromatic extraction of 3D motion signals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Kaestner, M., Maloney, R. T., Wailes-Newson, K. H., Bloj, M., Harris, J. M., Morland, A. B., Wade, A. R. 2019


    Motion in depth (MID) can be cued by high-resolution changes in binocular disparity over time (CD), and low-resolution interocular velocity differences (IOVD). Computational differences between these two mechanisms suggest that they may be implemented in visual pathways with different spatial and temporal resolutions. Here, we used fMRI to examine how achromatic and S-cone signals contribute to human MID perception. Both CD and IOVD stimuli evoked responses in a widespread network that included early visual areas, parts of the dorsal and ventral streams, and motion-selective area hMT+. Crucially, however, we measured an interaction between MID type and chromaticity. fMRI CD responses were largely driven by achromatic stimuli, but IOVD responses were better driven by isoluminant S-cone inputs. In our psychophysical experiments, when S-cone and achromatic stimuli were matched for perceived contrast, participants were equally sensitive to the MID in achromatic and S-cone IOVD stimuli. In comparison, they were relatively insensitive to S-cone CD. These findings provide evidence that MID mechanisms asymmetrically draw on information in precortical pathways. An early opponent motion signal optimally conveyed by the S-cone pathway may provide a substantial contribution to the IOVD mechanism.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1817202116

    View details for PubMedID 31209058

  • Sensitivity to Velocity- and Disparity-Based Cues to Motion-In-Depth With and Without Spared Stereopsis in Binocular Visual Impairment INVESTIGATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY & VISUAL SCIENCE Maloney, R. T., Kaestner, M., Bruce, A., Bloj, M., Harris, J. M., Wade, A. R. 2018; 59 (11): 4375-4383


    Two binocular sources of information serve motion-in-depth (MID) perception: changes in disparity over time (CD), and interocular velocity differences (IOVD). While CD requires the computation of small spatial disparities, IOVD could be computed from a much lower-resolution signal. IOVD signals therefore might still be available under conditions of binocular vision impairment (BVI) with limited or no stereopsis, for example, amblyopia.Sensitivity to CD and IOVD was measured in adults who had undergone therapy to correct optical misalignment or amblyopia in childhood (n = 16), as well as normal vision controls with good stereoacuity (n = 8). Observers discriminated the interval containing a smoothly oscillating MID "test" stimulus from a "control" stimulus in a two-interval forced choice paradigm.Of the BVI observers with no static stereoacuity (n = 9), one displayed evidence for sensitivity to IOVD only, while there was otherwise no sensitivity for either CD or IOVD in the group. Generally, BVI observers with measurable stereoacuity (n = 7) displayed a pattern resembling the control group: showing a similar sensitivity for both cues. A neutral density filter placed in front of the fixing eye in a subset of BVI observers did not improve performance.In one BVI observer there was preserved sensitivity to IOVD but not CD, though overall only those BVI observers with at least gross stereopsis were able to detect disparity- or velocity-based cues to MID. The results imply that these logically distinct information sources are somehow coupled, and in some cases BVI observers with no stereopsis may still retain sensitivity to IOVD.

    View details for DOI 10.1167/iovs.17-23692

    View details for Web of Science ID 000443735600005

    View details for PubMedID 30193309

  • The Combination of Disparity- and Velocity-Based Cues in Motion-In-Depth Perception Maloney, R., Kaestner, M., Bloj, M., Harris, J., Wade, A. SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD. 2017: 1219
  • Measurement of crosstalk in stereoscopic display systems used for vision research JOURNAL OF VISION Baker, D. H., Kaestner, M., Gouws, A. D. 2016; 16 (15): 14


    Studying binocular vision requires precise control over the stimuli presented to the left and right eyes. A popular technique is to segregate signals either temporally (frame interleaving), spectrally (using colored filters), or through light polarization. None of these segregation methods achieves perfect isolation, and so a degree of crosstalk is usually apparent, in which signals intended for one eye are faintly visible to the other eye. Previous studies have reported crosstalk values mostly for consumer-grade systems. Here we measure crosstalk for eight systems, many of which are intended for use in vision research. We provide benchmark crosstalk values, report a negative crosstalk effect in some LCD-based systems, and give guidelines for dealing with crosstalk in different experimental paradigms.

    View details for DOI 10.1167/16.15.14

    View details for Web of Science ID 000392947700014

    View details for PubMedID 27978549

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5172160

  • Mapping the temporal and neural properties of binocular mechanisms for motion-in-depth perception Maloney, R. T., Kaestner, M., Ansell, J., Bloj, M., Harris, J., Wade, A. SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD. 2016: 201
  • Decoding eye-of-origin signals in and beyond primary visual cortex Kaestner, M., Maloney, R. T., Bloj, M., Harris, J. M., Wade, A. R. SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD. 2016: 49