Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 68, Issue 7, pp 1124–1139 | Cite as

Binocular shape constancy from novel views: The role of a priori constraints

  • Moses W. Chan
  • Adam K. Stevenson
  • Yunfeng Li
  • Zygmunt Pizlo


We tested shape constancy from novel views in the case of binocular viewing, using a variety of stimuli, including polyhedra, polygonal lines, and points in 3-D. The results of the psychophysical experiments show that constraints such as planarity of surface contours and symmetry are critical for reliable shape constancy. These results are consistent with the results obtained in our previous psychophysical experiments on shape constancy from novel views in the presence of a kinetic depth effect (Pizlo & Stevenson, 1999). On the basis of these results, we developed a new model of binocular shape reconstruction. The model is based on the assumption that binocular reconstruction is a difficult inverse problem, whose solution requires imposing a priori constraints on the family of possible interpretations. In the model, binocular disparity is used to correct monocularly reconstructed shape. The new model was tested on the same shapes as those used in the psychophysical experiments. The reconstructions produced by this model are substantially more reliable than the reconstructions produced by models that do not use constraints. Interestingly, monocular (but not binocular) reconstructions produced by this model correlate well with both monocular and binocular performance of human subjects. This fact suggests that binocular and monocular reconstructions of shapes in the human visual system involve similar mechanisms based on monocular shape constraints.


Mental Rotation Retinal Image Binocular Disparity Polygonal Line Psychophysical Experiment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Moses W. Chan
    • 1
  • Adam K. Stevenson
    • 1
  • Yunfeng Li
    • 1
  • Zygmunt Pizlo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesPurdue UniversityWest Lafayette

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