Perceiving in Depth: Basic Mechanisms

ISBN : 9780199764143

Ian P. Howard
672 Pages
221 x 287 mm
Pub date
Mar 2012
Oxford Psychology Series
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Perceiving in Depth is a sequel to Binocular Vision and Stereopsis and to Seeing in Depth, both by Ian P. Howard and Brian J. Rogers. This three-volume work is much broader in scope than previous texts and includes mechanisms of depth perception by all senses, including aural, electrosensory organs, and the somatosensory system. The work contains three extensively illustrated and referenced volumes. Volume 1 reviews sensory coding, psychophysical and analytic procedures, and basic visual mechanisms. Volume 2 reviews stereoscopic vision. Volume 3 reviews all mechanisms of depth perception other than stereoscopic vision. Together, these three volumes provide the most detailed review of all aspects of perceiving the three-dimensional world. Volume 1 contains a historical background and address basic coding process, an account of basic psychophysical procedures and principles of sensory coding, and an account of basic mechanisms underlying visual depth perception. It starts with a review of the history of investigations of visual depth perception from the ancient Greeks to the early 20th century. Depth-detection mechanisms in senses other than vision were not investigated before the 19th century. Special attention is devoted to the discovery of the principles of perspective in 15th century Florence, and the discovery of the principles of stereoscopic vision. The chapter ends with a review of early visual display systems, such as panoramas and peepshows, and the discovery and development of stereoscopes and stereophotography. One chapter reviews the psychophysical and analytic procedures used in behavioral investigations of depth perception. Another chapter deals with the broad topic of sensory coding, including the geometry of visual space, mechanisms of attention, and experience-dependent plasticity of visual functions. A review of the structure and physiology of the primate visual system proceeds from the eye through the LGN to the visual cortex and higher visual centers. This is followed by a review of the early evolution of visual systems and of the development of the mammalian visual system in the embryo and post-natal period, with an emphasis on mechanisms of neural plasticity. The development of perceptual functions, especially depth perception, in human infants is then reviewed. These chapters provide a foundation for a review of the effects of early visual deprivation during the critical period of neural plasticity on the development of the various types of amblyopia and of defects in visual depth perception. Various forms of deprivation are discussed, including dark rearing, binocular and monocular enucleation, strabismus, and eyelid suturing. Volume 1 ends with reviews of the accommodation mechanism of the human eye and vergence eye movements.


Contents of Volume 1
1. Introduction
2. Historical background
3. Psychophysics and analysis
4. Sensory coding
5. Physiology of the visual system
6. Development of the visual system
7. Development of perceptual functions
8. Effects of visual deprivation
9. Image formation and accommodation
10. Vergence eye movements
Subject index
Portrait index
Index of cited journals

About the author: 

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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