Purpose: Stereoscopic three-dimensional (S3D) viewing enhances depth perception of two-dimensional (2D) images.
The present study measured viewer’s ability to discern depth differences and depth change afforded by image disparities presented on an S3D display. Methods: Sixty adults (age 24.8 +/- 3.4 years, 28% male) with binocular acuity better than 20/25 and stereoacuity better than 60 arcsec viewed test images presented on a 55” 3D TV (1920 x 1080 pixels) at 2.4m distance. In each trial, three of the four circles in the test image were with the same crossed baseline disparity of 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 pixels, and the other (target) circle with added crossed disparity (delta disparity) of 2, 4, and 6 pixels. A subsequent change in delta disparity of the target circle (+/-2 pixels) was presented. Participant's response time and accuracy for identifying the target circle and its direction of depth change, as well as their vergence eye position, was recorded. Results: Larger baseline disparity resulted in lower accuracy and longer response times in identifying the target circle. The change of delta disparity was more accurately discerned when the delta disparity was larger and the change resulted in increased crossed disparity. Direction of vergence change and the final vergence error reflected an averaging of screen and image depths. Conclusion: S3D-induced depth difference and motion in depth is more easily discerned with smaller crossed disparity for background objects (< 43.3 arcmin or 48 pixels) and larger separation between image disparities (>3.6 arcmin or 4 pixels).