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Tony Vladusich; Brightness, darkness and the perception of surface material. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):292. doi: 10.1167/8.6.292.
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A recent computational model of achromatic color perception proposes that gray shades are encoded in a two-dimensional space formed by brightness and darkness dimensions (Vladusich et al., 2007, PloS Comp Biol, 3: e179). This model predicts that achromatic colors should depend on higher-order image statistics, such as the variance, skewness and kurtosis of the luminance values in a scene. I provide perceptual evidence in support of this prediction and link the properties of the model to a recent demonstration that such image statistics play a key role in the perception of matte and glossy surface material (Motoyoshi et al., 2007, Nature, 447: 206–209). The model also makes the testable prediction that neural ON and OFF channels should provide inputs to a two-dimensional spatial map of achromatic colors analogous to the hue maps described recently in primate extra-striate cortex (Conway et al., 2007, Neuron, 56: 560–573).
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