Disparity tuning in visual cortex has been shown using a variety of stimulus types that contain stereoscopic depth cues. It is not known whether different stimuli yield similar disparity tuning curves. We studied whether cells in visual area V4 of the macaque show similar disparity tuning profiles when the same set of disparity values were tested using bars or dynamic random dot stereograms, which are among the most commonly used stimuli for this purpose. In a majority of V4 cells (61%), the shape of the disparity tuning profile differed significantly for the two stimulus types. The two sets of stimuli yielded statistically indistinguishable disparity tuning profiles for only a small minority (6%) of V4 cells. These results indicate that disparity tuning in V4 is stimulus-dependent. Given the fact that bar stimuli contain two-dimensional (2-D) shape cues, and the random dot stereograms do not, our results also indicate that V4 cells represent 2-D shape and binocular disparity in an interdependent fashion, revealing an unexpected complexity in the analysis of depth and three-dimensional shape.
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