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Khushbu Y. Patel, Anudhi P. Munasinghe, Richard F. Murray; Lightness matching and perceptual similarity. Journal of Vision 2018;18(5):1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.5.1.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Lightness constancy is the ability to perceive surface reflectance correctly despite substantial changes in lighting intensity. A classic view is that lightness constancy is the result of a “discounting” of lighting intensity, and this continues to be a prominent view today. Logvinenko and Maloney (2006) have proposed an alternative approach to understanding lightness constancy, in which observers do not make explicit estimates of reflectance, and lightness constancy is instead based on a perceptual similarity metric that depends on both the reflectance and the illuminance of surfaces viewed under different lighting conditions. Here we compare these two views using a novel, free-adjustment reflectance-matching task. We test whether observers can match reflectance in a task where they are free to adjust both the illuminance and the reflectance of the match stimulus over a wide range. We find that observers can match reflectance under these conditions, which supports the view that observers make explicit estimates of reflectance. We also compare performance in this free adjustment task using physical objects and computer-rendered images as stimuli. We find that lightness constancy is good in both cases, but with some evidence of a glow-related artifact with computer-rendered stimuli.
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