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The Role of Occlusion in the Perception of Depth, Lightness, and Opacity

The Role of Occlusion in the Perception of Depth, Lightness, and Opacity,10.1037/0033-295X.110.4.785,Psychological Review,Barton L. Anderson

The Role of Occlusion in the Perception of Depth, Lightness, and Opacity   (Citations: 24)
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A theory is presented that explains how the visual system infers the lightness, opacity, and depth of surfaces from stereoscopic images. It is shown that the polarity and magnitude of image contrast play distinct roles in surface perception, which can be captured by 2 principles of perceptual inference. First, a contrast depth asymmetry principle articulates how the visual system computes the ordinal depth and lightness relationships from the polarity of local, binocularly matched image contrast. Second, a global transmittance anchoring principle expresses how variations in contrast magnitudes are used to infer the presence of transparent surfaces. It is argued that these principles provide a unified explanation of how the visual system computes the 3-D surface structure of opaque and transparent surfaces.
Journal: Psychological Review - PSYCHOL REV , vol. 110, no. 4, pp. 785-801, 2003
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    • ...More recent models incorporate both low-level factors, such as lateral-inhibition, and mid-level factors, such as the global form analyses that may underlie the decomposition (Watanabe & Cavanagh, 1993) or ‘scission’ (Anderson, 1999,Anderson, 2003 )o f the image into simultaneous contributions from reflectance, illumination, shadow, and transparency...

    P. U. Tseet al. Corrigendum to “Microsaccade directions do not predict directionality ...

    • ...Later studies have addressed the issue of how observers perceptually arrange the depth order of multiple, possibly transparent layers (Beck et al. 1984; Beck and Ivry 1988; Adelson and Anandan 1990; Anderson 1997, 2003)...
    • ...In these studies, the notion of luminance contrast polarity gained central ground (Adelson and Anandan 1990; Anderson 1997)...
    • ...Adelson and Anandan (1990) and Anderson (1997) point out that, in x-junction configurations (configurations where four surfaces meet) characterized by non-reversing polarity, both layers are likely to be perceived as transparent...
    • ...Several studies suggest that the perceived depth order of two overlapping regions should be bistable in this case (Adelson and Anandan 1990; Anderson 1997; Kitaoka 2005)...

    Franco Deloguet al. Photometric, figural and crossmodal factors in the perception of trans...

    • ...Indeed, I have recently shown that the manner that depth spreads in stereograms is a consequence of the inherent asymmetry that arises from the geometry of occlusion (Anderson, 2003; Anderson et al., 2002)...

    Barton L. Anderson. The Demise of the Identity Hypothesis and the Insufficiency and Nonnec...

    • ...The author also shows that the illusory glass surfaces that Kellman et al. and Albert upheld as evidence against his arguments about luminance constraints in completion are explained by theoretical principles that he has previously articulated (B. L. Anderson, 2003), and variants of these illusions receive no explanation within either of the models Kellman et al. and Albert propose...
    • ...I share the view that such phenomena can provide valuable insight into the mechanisms underlying completion phenomena and discussed the latter at length in numerous articles previously (Anderson, 1997, 2003; Anderson & Julesz, 1995)...
    • ...Indeed, I show that these percepts are fully explained by the theory of occlusion, transparency, and lightness that I have articulated previously (Anderson, 1997, 2003)...
    • ...We have argued that these constraints can cause substantial changes in the surfaces and contours that are interpolated in modal and amodal completion (or continuation) processes (Anderson, 2003, 2007; Anderson, Singh, & Fleming, 2002)...
    • ...This is an incorrect characterization of our position and does not take into account the fact that (to our knowledge) we were the first to construct stereoscopic displays showing that modal contour completion can occur even when the conditions for camouflage are not satisfied (Anderson, 1997, 2003; Anderson & Julesz, 1995)...
    • ...These displays (see Figure 2) are identical in all relevant respects to those depicted in Kellman et al.’s (2007) crystalline stereograms, although we described the percepts elicited by our displays as “glass” (Anderson & Julesz, 1995, p. 727) or “disembodied contour[s]” (Anderson, 2003, p. 796; see Figure 2). Thus, both Kellman et al. (2007) and Albert (2007) incorrectly characterized our theoretical views and attempted to reject our ...
    • ...My colleagues and I (Anderson, 1997, 2003, 2007; Anderson & Julesz, 1995; Anderson et al., 2002) have not committed to a particular view as to whether luminance constraints influence contour completion through feed-...
    • ...However, my colleagues and I have articulated a general theoretical framework to explain percepts of depth, lightness, and transparency; the glass percepts that emerge in these images are simply a special case of this theory (Anderson, 1997, 1999, 2003; Anderson & Julesz, 1995)...
    • ...Specifically, I have argued that the same set of computations is used to determine how surface quality is partitioned between surfaces that span the range from opaque to perfectly transparent (Anderson, 2003)...
    • ...I have recently argued that two principles of perceptual organization are needed to explain how luminance is partitioned into layered representations in conditions of occlusion and transparency, and I have shown that the computations that underlie the formation of layered image representations depend on the contrast and luminance relationships that occur along contours and contour junctions (Anderson, 2003; cf. Anderson, 1999; Anderson et ...
    • ...This means that no luminance is attributed to the near surface, generating a percept of disembodied contours (or, more accurately, a transparent surface with 100% transmittance; see Anderson, 2003)...
    • ...The theoretical framework that my colleagues and I have been developing treats completion phenomena as a subset of computational problems that involve segmenting images into layered representations, not as a computational module of its own (Anderson, 1999, 2003; Anderson & Julesz, 1995; Anderson et al., 2002)...
    • ...We argued (Anderson, 2003; Anderson & Julesz, 1995; Anderson et al., 2002) that the asymmetry in the way depth is interpolated in these displays arose because the visual system was more likely to decompose the horizontal contours into matchable and unmatchable features when it was an occluded bar than when it was the occluding bar...
    • ...In sum, the same kind of (unmatched) features are present in the occlusion display and the transparent cross, so our theory asserts that the same effect should be observed in both displays (Anderson, 2003; Anderson & Julesz, 1995; Anderson et al., 2002)...

    Barton L. Anderson. Filling-In Models of Completion: Rejoinder to Kellman, Garrigan, Shipl...

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