We measured the ability to fuse dichoptic images of a horizontal line alone or in the presence of a textured background with different vertical disparity. Nonius-line measurements of vertical vergence were also obtained. Diplopia thresholds and vertical vergence gains were much higher in response to an isolated vertically disparate line than to one with a zero vertical-disparity background. The effect of the background was maximum when it was coplanar with the target and decreased with increasing relative horizontal disparity. We conclude that vertical disparities are integrated over a restricted range of horizontal disparities to drive vertical vergence. 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.