In the present study some specific properties of the learning effects reported for random-dot stereograms are examined. In experiment 1 the retinal position-specific learning effect was reproduced and in a follow-up experiment it was shown that the position specificity of learning can be accounted for by selective visual attention. In experiments 2 and 3 evidence was obtained that suggests that observers can learn, to a certain degree, monocular random-dot patterns and that this learning facilitates the depth percept. This result indicates that the traditional belief that random-dot stereograms are devoid of monocularly recognizable or useful forms should be reconsidered. In the second set of experiments the learning of two binocular surface properties of random-dot stereograms, depth edges and internal depth regions, was investigated. It was shown in experiment 4 that the depth edges of random-dot stereograms are not learned, whereas the results of experiment 5 indicate that the internal depth regions are learned. Finally, in experiment 6 it was shown that depth edges are learned when the internal depth regions of the stereogram are ambiguous. The results are discussed in terms of the importance of the particular type of stimulus used in the learning process and in terms of perceptual learning and attention.
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