Oftentimes when using Matlab we find ourselves having to perform a series of repetitive assignments from some kind of array, e.g., a=A(1); b=A(2); c=A(3); . . . etc. Inevitably we ask ourselves, is there a way to do this more simply? DISPERSE is syntactic sugar for performing these kinds of tasks with a single function call.
DISPERSE is not the same as DEAL. For example, if A is a vector then [a b c d] = disperse(A) performs a=A(1), b=A(2), c=A(3), and d=A(4), whereas [a b c d] = deal(A) performs a=A, b=A, c=A, and d=A.
DISPERSE generalizes to arbitrary dimensions, and is extended to follow analogous behavior on cell arrays and structure arrays. For example, if A is an RGB image, then [r g b] = disperse(A) grabs the R, G, and B color channels from A. See the documentation for more examples.
Edit: I was recently notified that there is a similar submission called VECT2VAR. For vector inputs, these functions are equivalent; however, DISPERSE also works on higher-dimensional objects, which is handy when dealing with matrices, images, videos, etc.