Divergent random dot stereograms: The more you look, the quicker you see the image

J. G. Jewell, M. K. McBeath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this research was to delineate two kinds of learning phenomena that accompany repeated viewing of divergent random dot stereograms. Methods: Observers viewed random dot stereograms which required them to diverge their vision in order to realize the 3D structure. Observers were presented with repeated exposures to the stereograms, and the reaction time (RT) to realize the 3D structure was recorded. The effects of delay between presentations of stereograms and of repeated viewing of the same stimuli versus novel stimuli were examined. Results: The time to realize the 3D structure within stereograms significantly decreased with repeated presentations of the same stereogram. Observers re-tested seven days after their initial exposure to the stereogram showed virtually total savings. The time to realize the 3D structure on the seventh day remained at the asymptote established after multiple trials on the first day. RT for novel stereograms was less than the RT for the initial stereogram, but greater than the asymptote established by the initial stereogram. Conclusions: Findings from this research confirm the anecdotal notion that the more people view divergent random dot stereograms the quicker they realize the 3D structure of the stereogram. Additional learning phenomena appear to occur with repeated viewing of the same stereogram. The current findings show evidence for two types of learning that occur during the repeated viewing of the stereograms: a kinesthetic learning that generally speeds up ability to diverge and a perceptual learning that enhances the perception/recognition of the familiar 3D structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S284
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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