Depth aftereffects produced by prolonged inspection of an object in depth can be mediated by monocular and binocular depth cues. The adapting mechanisms responsible for such effects have not yet been fully determined. Theories of binocular depth aftereffects typically posit a role of an adaptive horizontal disparity sensitive mechanism, implying multiple cue-specific mechanisms for depth aftereffects. Here we examined whether binocular depth aftereffects can be attributed to such a cue-specific mechanism. In Experiment 1 we did so using a technique allowing us to maintain horizontal disparities and vergence constant for our adaptation stimuli, whilst manipulating simulated depth by virtue of a vertical disparity induced-depth effect. We found that depth aftereffects were almost identical to those produced by adaptation to stimuli of equivalent depth produced by conventional horizontal disparity modulations. In Experiment 2, we examined depth aftereffects following adaptation to apparently frontal surfaces produced by different combinations of horizontal and vertical disparity modulations. Aftereffects were close to zero. These results suggest that binocular depth aftereffects are not due to adaptation of a horizontal disparity sensitive mechanism, and we argue that adaptation occurs at the level of a 3D shape sensitive mechanism derived from multiple cues. Experiment 3 was a control to examine whether the two types of adaptation stimuli in Experiment 1 were indeed perceptually the same, since in theory they may differ if vertical disparities influenced metric depth scaling. We found no evidence of this, and concluded that the two classes of stimuli used in Experiment 1, though consisting of very different patterns of disparity, were perceptually equivalent
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