Modeling stereo transparency with physiologically plausible mechanisms is challenging because in such frameworks, large receptive fields mix up overlapping disparities, whereas small receptive fields can reliably compute only small disparities. It seems necessary to combine information across scales. A coarse-to-fine disparity energy model, with both position- and phase-shift receptive fields, has already been proposed. However, because each scale decodes only one disparity for each location and uses the decoded disparity to select cells at the next scale, this model cannot represent overlapping surfaces at different depths. We have extended the model to solve stereo transparency. First, we introduce multiplicative connections from cells at one scale to the next to implement coarse-to-fine computation. The connection is the strongest when the presynaptic cell’s preferred disparity matches the postsynaptic cell’s position-shift parameter, encouraging the next scale to encode residual disparities with the more reliable phase-shift mechanism. This modification not only eliminates the artificial decoding and selection steps of the original model but also enables maintenance of complete population responses throughout the coarse-to-fine process. Second, because of this modification, explicit decoding is no longer necessary but rather is for visualization only. We use a simple threshold criterion to decode multiple disparities from population energy responses instead of a single disparity in the original model. We demonstrate our model using simulations on a variety of transparent and nontransparent stereograms. The model also reproduces psychophysically observed disparity interactions (averaging, thickening, attraction, and repulsion) as the depth separation between two overlapping planes varies.

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