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Ömer Dağlar Tanrıkulu, Vicky Froyen, Jacob Feldman, Manish Singh; Geometric figure–ground cues override standard depth from accretion-deletion. Journal of Vision 2016;16(5):15. doi: 10.1167/16.5.15.
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Accretion-deletion is widely considered a decisive cue to surface depth ordering, with the accreting or deleting surface interpreted as behind an adjoining surface. However, Froyen, Feldman, and Singh (2013) have shown that when accretion-deletion occurs on both sides of a contour, accreting-deleting regions can also be perceived as in front and as self-occluding due to rotation in three dimensions. In this study we ask whether geometric figure–ground cues can override the traditional “depth from accretion-deletion” interpretation even when accretion-deletion takes place only on one side of a contour. We used two tasks: a relative-depth task (front/back), and a motion-classification task (translation/rotation). We conducted two experiments, in which texture in only one set of alternating regions was moving; the other set was static. Contrary to the traditional interpretation of accretion-deletion, the moving convex and symmetric regions were perceived as figural and rotating in three dimensions in roughly half of the trials. In the second experiment, giving different motion directions to the moving regions (thereby weakening motion-based grouping) further weakened the traditional accretion-deletion interpretation. Our results show that the standard “depth from accretion-deletion” interpretation is overridden by static geometric cues to figure–ground. Overall, the results demonstrate a rich interaction between accretion-deletion, figure–ground, and structure from motion that is not captured by existing models of depth from motion.
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