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Perceiving in Depth, Volume 3: Other Mechanisms of Depth Perception

Series: Perceiving in Depth Volume: 3

By: Ian P Howard

Oxford University Press USA

Hardback | Mar 2012 | #195711 | ISBN-13: 9780199764167
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NHBS Price: £115.00 $151/€129 approx

About this book

Volume 3 addresses all depth-perception mechanisms other than stereopsis. The chapter starts with reviews of monocular cues to depth. These cues include accommodation, vergence eye movements, perspective, interposition, shading, and motion parallax. A perceptual constancy is the ability to judge a feature of a stimulus as constant in spite of variations in the retinal image. Constancies in depth perception, such as the ability to perceive the sizes, and 3-D shapes of objects as they move or rotate are reviewed.

The ways in which different depth cues interact are discussed. They can complement each other, compete, or interact so as to increase the range of depth perception. The next chapter reviews sources of information, such as changing disparity, image looming, and vergence eye movements, used in the perception of objects moving in depth. Various pathologies of depth perception, including visual neglect, stereoanomalies, and albanism are reviewed. Visual depth-perception mechanisms through the animal kingdom are reviewed, starting with insects and progressing though crustaceans, fish, amphibians, retiles, birds, and mammals. Most animals respond to image looming, and many use perspective and motion parallax to detect depth. Stereoscopic vision based on binocular disparity has evolved in some insects, frogs, and mammals. The chapter includes a discussion of the way in which stereoscopic vision may have evolved.

The next chapter describes how visual depth perception is used to guide reaching movements of the hand, avoiding obstacles, and walking to a distant object. The next three chapters review non-visual mechanisms of depth perception. Auditory mechanisms include auditory localization, echolocation in bats and marine mammals, and the lateral-line system of fish. Some fish emit electric discharges and then use electric sense organs to detect distortions of the electric field produced by nearby objects. Some beetles and snakes use heat-sensitive sense organs to detect sources of heat. The volume ends with a discussion of mechanisms used by animals to navigate to a distant site. Ants find their way back to the nest by using landmarks and by integrating their walking movements. Several animals navigate by the stars or by polarized sunlight. It seems to be established that animals in several phyla navigate by detecting the Earth's magnetic field.

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Ian P. Howard is Professor at the Centre for Vision Research at York University in Toronto. He is the co-author of several books including "Human Spatial Organization", "Human Visual Organization", and with Brian J. Rogers, of "Binocular Vision and Stereopsis" (Oxford University Press, 1995), as well as "Seeing in Depth", (Porteous and Oxford University Press, 2005).

Brain J. Rogers is Professor of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University. He is the author, with Ian P. Howard, "of Binocular Vision and Stereopsis", OUP, 1995 and 'Seeing in Depth", I Porteous and OUP, 2005.

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