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Jiale Yang, Yumiko Otsuka, So Kanazawa, Masami K. Yamaguchi, Isamu Motoyoshi; Perception of surface glossiness in infants. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):451. doi: 10.1167/10.7.451.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Human adults can easily judge the glossiness of natural surfaces. The present study examined the glossiness perception in infants. Using computer graphics, we created gray-scale images of three objects that had identical 3D structure with different surface qualities. The first object was uniformly matte, the second one was glossy, and the third one was matte but covered with white paint splashes. The glossy and paint surfaces had similar luminance histograms that are positively skewed while the matte surface had a negatively skewed histogram. Twenty four infants, aged 5-6 and 7-8 months, were presented with the two objects side by side. In one condition they were glossy vs. matte, and in the other glossy vs. paint. The results showed that the 7-8-month-old infants, but not 5-6-month-old infants, significantly preferred the glossy object both to the matte and paint objects. The preference for the glossy surface to the paint surface cannot be accounted for by the difference in the histogram statistics, indicating that infants could discriminate between highlight and white paint. These findings suggests that the 7-8-month-old infants are sensitive to the surface quality and have a preference for glossy objects on the basis of neural representations more than simple image statistics. The developmental period of sensitivity to highlights found in present study is consistent with previous finding that the perception of shape from shading emerges around 7 month of age (Granrud, Yonas, and Opland, 1985).
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