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Sarah R. Allred, David H. Brainard; A Bayesian model of lightness perception that incorporates spatial variation in the illumination. Journal of Vision 2013;13(7):18. https://doi.org/10.1167/13.7.18.
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The lightness of a test stimulus depends in a complex manner on the context in which it is viewed. To predict lightness, it is necessary to leverage measurements of a feasible number of contextual configurations into predictions for a wider range of configurations. Here we pursue this goal, using the idea that lightness results from the visual system's attempt to provide stable information about object surface reflectance. We develop a Bayesian algorithm that estimates both illumination and reflectance from image luminance, and link perceived lightness to the algorithm's estimates of surface reflectance. The algorithm resolves ambiguity in the image through the application of priors that specify what illumination and surface reflectances are likely to occur in viewed scenes. The prior distributions were chosen to allow spatial variation in both illumination and surface reflectance. To evaluate our model, we compared its predictions to a data set of judgments of perceived lightness of test patches embedded in achromatic checkerboards (Allred, Radonjić, Gilchrist, & Brainard, 2012). The checkerboard stimuli incorporated the large variation in luminance that is a pervasive feature of natural scenes. In addition, the luminance profile of the checks both near to and remote from the central test patches was systematically manipulated. The manipulations provided a simplified version of spatial variation in illumination. The model can account for effects of overall changes in image luminance and the dependence of such changes on spatial location as well as some but not all of the more detailed features of the data.
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