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In this paper, we propose a quality metric for color stereo images. The concept of our metric is inspired by the behavior of simple and complex cells located in the primary visual cortex. These cells are responsible for merging left and right retinal images. To replicate the task performed by these cells, we adopted an approach based on spatial-frequency transform with the processing of selective orientations. From that, a model that calculates the binocular energy contained in the left and right retinal images has been proposed. The amplitude variation of the binocular energy defines the quality criterion of the reconstructed depth within the Human Visual System (HVS). Finally, from the experimental results, the used criterion seems to be correlated to human judgment obtained by psychophysical tests.