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Chao Han, Teng-Leng Ooi, Zijiang He; Perceptual surface completion and surface stability. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):1369. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/17.10.1369.
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Using boundary contour (BC) information for image segmentation and surface representation is the purview of the BC-based image segmentation mechanism. A critical function of the BC-mechanism is contour completion. Both local signals, e.g., contrast, orientation, junctions and binocular disparity, as well as global spatial relationships provide cues for surface completion. However, few psychophysical studies have quantitatively measured how these cues affect surface completion and the stability of the represented surface. To investigate this, we presented a pair of silhouette rectangular gray bars to the observers. The bars intersected in the middle and crossed one another at an angle of either 45 deg or 90 deg apart (e.g., 0/90, 45/135 and 45/90 deg). Each bar moved along its long axis at 0.6 deg/sec. This arrangement allowed us to measure surface completion, as the stimulus induced an alternating percept of one or the other bar being seen in front, carrying along with it a pair of subjective contours of the front bar at the intersection. Observers perceptually tracked their perception of the subjective contours for 30 sec. This allowed us to obtain the predominance of seeing each bar in front (proportion of dominance duration). We found the predominance for seeing the vertical bar was higher than for oblique or horizontal bars. We attribute this to the visual system's preference for vertical orientation, thus aiding it in the battle for modal completion. Furthermore, we found predominance was higher for a wider bar and for a bar with crossed binocular disparity, revealing these as factors influencing modal completion. Finally, we found that global spatial relationship, such as the bar's interior surface features relative to surrounding background configuration, affects predominance. Overall, our study provides a quantitative understanding of how local and global cues determine surface completion and how the weighted cue strengths affect surface stability.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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