Tachistoscopic exposure and masking of real three-dimensional scenes
Although there are many well-known forms of visual cues specifying absolute and relative distance, little is known about how visual space perception develops at small temporal scales. How much time does the visual system require to extract the information in the various absolute and relative distance cues? In this article, we describe a system that may be used to address this issue by presenting brief exposures of real, three-dimensional scenes, followed by a masking stimulus. The system is composed of an electronic shutter (a liquid crystal smart window) for exposing the stimulus scene, and a liquid crystal projector coupled with an electromechanical shutter for presenting the masking stimulus. This system can be used in both full- and reduced-cue viewing conditions, under monocular and binocular viewing, and at distances limited only by the testing space. We describe a configuration that may be used for studying the microgenesis of visual space perception in the context of visually directed walking.