PhD Studentship: Depth-Cue Combination in Complex Natural Scenes

University of Essex - Department of Psychology

SUPERVISOR: Prof Paul Hibbard

Scientific Background

Our perceptual systems provide us with a vivid experience of living in a 3D world, allowing us to effortlessly recognise and interact with the objects that surround us. This is possible because our brains combine the many depth cues that are available to us. In this project, we will establish the importance of individual cues, such as binocular vision, in our perception of depth in natural scenes. We will also determine how visual information about 3D shape is combined with our active interaction with objects to create our visual experience. We will use this understanding to optimise the immersive experience of virtual reality.

Methods: The experiments are based around the presentation of very detailed, accurate 3D scans of natural everyday objects, using high-resolution 3D displays and immersive virtual reality. Participants in the experiments will be presented with these images on a 3D screen and in virtual reality, and asked to make simple judgements about their shape. We will also measure how people’s interaction with the simulated environment contributes to feelings of presence or immersion.

Person specification: We seek someone with a keen interest in 3D vision and virtual reality, and an undergraduate or masters degree in a relevant discipline. Candidates are encouraged to contact Prof Paul Hibbard ( for further information. When completing your research proposal, please focus on why you are keen to work on this project, and why you are a suitable candidate. Please also state the title of the project in your research proposal.


Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is open to UK/EU students only.


This project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust. This funding covers tuition fees, a stipend, and research expenses.  

Closing date for this application is 17th April 2017. Please apply online via

For general information about the Department of Psychology at the University of Essex please visit our webpages

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South East England