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Jeffrey A. Saunders, Benjamin T. Backus; Perception of surface slant from oriented textures. Journal of Vision 2006;6(9):3. doi: 10.1167/6.9.3.
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When a surface covered with a regular texture is viewed in perspective, the projected texture provides a number of cues to 3D surface orientation. For oriented textures, one cue is perspective convergence: symmetry lines that are parallel along the surface project to lines that vary systematically in orientation. We investigated the contribution of perspective convergence to perception of 3D slant and tested whether slant from convergence depends on oriented spectral components. Subjects judged the sign of slant about a vertical axis of rotation. Textures were composed of filled circles in three spatial arrangements: a hex grid with symmetry lines at 0 and ±60 deg relative to the tilt direction (aligned condition), a hex grid with symmetry lines at 90 and ±30 deg (perpendicular condition), and random arrangements with similar average spacing (isotropic condition). The two hex grid textures differed in the amount of spectral energy present in the tilt direction (horizontal) but were otherwise closely matched. Slant discrimination thresholds for monocular stimuli were higher for isotropic textures than for either of the two hex grid textures and were higher for the perpendicular texture than for the aligned texture. In a second experiment, we measured the weight given to texture relative to binocular slant information for cue conflict stimuli (±5 deg). Weights were found to agree with individual subjects' monocular thresholds, in accordance with optimal estimation theory. We conclude that the visual system uses perspective convergence to perceive slant and that effective use of convergence requires the presence of spectral components aligned with the tilt direction.
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