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The visual hierarchies that support 3D shape and material perception.
Our understanding of the cortical hierarchies that support 3D shape in the human brain is still in its infancy. Recent work has made important advances in revealing parts of the hierarchy responsible for processing simple information about binocular disparity signals to recover 3D shape information. However, the extent to which these hierarchies generalise to more complex 3D structures, the use of other depth cues (e.g. texture, shading, motion) is unknown. Moreover, the question of surface appearance is almost completely unknown. Here we make use of graphics rendering methods to examine the brain networks engaged when judging (a) the 3D shape and (b) the material of specular (reflective) complex 3D objects.