[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conventional studies of lightness constancy have almost exclusively used flat plain stimuli and have shown that lightness matches across illuminants cannot be explained by physical matches of reflectance or luminance. The perceptual qualities that underlie lightness judgments still remain largely unknown. Real objects are often 3-D and patterned, giving additional cues for identification. We examine the perceptual strategies that underlie material identification of real objects. Stimuli were randomly crumpled papers printed with achromatic patterns with precisely calibrated mean reflectance and reflectance contrast, placed in backgrounds under varying levels of illumination. Observers were asked to identify objects based on physical reflectance differences. Reflectance identification functions were simulated by simple models that perform object identification based on dissimilarities in perceived brightness (luminance dissimilarity modified by light adaptation) or perceived contrast (contrast dissimilarity modified by mean luminance). The reflectance identification results were also recreated in two control experiments, using identical stimuli conditions, where choices were based explicitly on dissimilarities in perceived brightness or contrast. Rather than a reverse optics model of lightness perception where observers first estimate illuminant intensity and then extract relative lightness by discounting the illuminant, this study supports the use of simple percepts such as brightness and contrast.
Journal of Vision 02/2006; 6(1):18-36. DOI:10.1167/6.1.3 · 2.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined whether observers veridically perceive the reflectances of real objects under natural viewing conditions. A new forced-choice paradigm was used to measure observers' abilities to identify (not match) the reflectance of randomly crumpled gray papers across two levels of illumination, and also to simultaneously measure brightness discrimination thresholds for the same objects. Accuracy of lightness identification differed qualitatively among observers. By explicitly manipulating observer strategies, we show that when observers use brightness dissimilarity, their performance is similar to lightness identification. A brightness adaptation model simulates how instead of extracting lightness, observers can rely on perceived relative brightness to achieve the measured degrees of lightness identification.
Journal of Vision 10/2004; 4(9):779-97. DOI:10.1167/4.9.9 · 2.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examine how the luminance distributions of overlaid surfaces affect the perception of transparency of neutral density filters. Pairs of neutral density filters were generated overlying variegated backgrounds of varying luminance distributions, and observers adjusted a single parameter of one filter until the pair appeared equally transparent. Physically identical filters appeared equally transparent on similar backgrounds, but did not appear equally transparent when backgrounds differed in luminance or contrast. Reducing luminance or contrast of the background decreased perceived transparency of the overlaying filter by a multiplicative factor. Observers matched perceived transparency of physically dissimilar filters by applying a linear trade-off between reflectivity and inner transmittance. In a second experiment, filters had their spatial structure altered in order to abolish the perception of transparency and appeared as patterned opaque disks, and observers equated perceived contrast of the two overlaid areas. Match settings gave results similar to the previous experiment, indicating that, in general, perceived transparency corresponds closely to the perceived contrast of the overlaid region.
Journal of Vision 04/2004; 4(3):183-95. DOI:10.1167/4.3.5 · 2.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: What are the physical and sensory determinants of perceived transparency? To explore this question, we simulated pairs of physically different neutral density filters on a CRT and asked observers to match their perceived transparency. Matching was accomplished by adjusting one of two physically independent filter properties, reflectivity and inner transmittance. Results show that observers can make reliable matches through a linear trade-off of these two properties. In a separate experiment, observers matched the perceived contrast of the overlaid regions. The reflectivity and inner transmittance values for contrast matches are similar to those of perceived transparency matches, suggesting that perceived image contrast is the sensory determinant of perceived transparency. In variegated displays, neither Michelson contrast nor other standard contrast metrics predicts contrast appearance. When perceived transparency is plotted in terms of filter reflectance and filter transmittance, perceived transparency corresponds closely to filter transmittance.
Journal of Vision 02/2002; 2(5):388-403. DOI:10.1167/2.5.3 · 2.73 Impact Factor