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Uncovering the Secrets of 3D Vision: How Glossy Objects Can Fool The Human Brain

MedicalXpress.com reports that it’s a familiar sight at the fairground: rows of people gaping at curvy mirrors as they watch their faces and bodies distort. But while mirrored surfaces may be fun to look at, new findings by researchers from the Universities of Birmingham, Cambridge and Giessen, suggest they pose a particular challenge for the human brain in processing images for 3D vision.

‘We often think that the 3D information we get from having two eyes provides the gold standard for seeing in depth; but glossy objects pose a difficult challenge to the brain because the stereoscopic information often indicates depths that don’t match the physical shape of the object’ explains Dr Andrew Welchman, a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. ‘We found that the brain is sometimes ‘fooled’ into seeing the wrong 3D shape, but this depends on statistical properties of the stereo images that indicate how ‘useful’ the information is,’ he adds.

Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-01-uncovering-secrets-3d-vision-glossy.html#jCp