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Charles C.-F. Or, James H. Elder; Oriented texture detection: Ideal observer modelling and classification image analysis. Journal of Vision 2011;11(8):16. doi: 10.1167/11.8.16.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Perception of visual texture flows contributes to object segmentation, shape perception, and object recognition. To better understand the visual mechanisms underlying texture flow perception, we studied the factors limiting detection of simple forms of texture flows composed of local dot dipoles (Glass patterns) and related stimuli. To provide a benchmark for human performance, we derived an ideal observer for this task. We found that human detection thresholds were 8.0 times higher than ideal. We considered three factors that might account for this performance gap: (1) false matches between dipole dots (correspondence errors), (2) loss of sensitivity with increasing eccentricity, and (3) local orientation bandwidth. To estimate the effect of correspondence errors, we compared detection of Glass patterns with detection of matched line-segment stimuli, where no correspondence uncertainty exists. We found that eliminating correspondence errors reduced human thresholds by a factor of 1.8. We used a novel form of classification image analysis to directly estimate loss of sensitivity with eccentricity and local orientation bandwidth. Incorporating the eccentricity effects into the ideal observer model increased ideal thresholds by a factor of 2.9. Interestingly, estimated orientation bandwidth increased ideal thresholds by only 8%. Taking all three factors into account, human thresholds were only 58% higher than model thresholds. Our findings suggest that correspondence errors and eccentricity losses account for the great majority of the perceptual loss in the visual processing of Glass patterns.
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