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Minjung Kim, Jason M. Gold, Richard F. Murray; What image features guide lightness perception?. Journal of Vision 2018;18(13):1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.13.1.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Lightness constancy is the ability to perceive black and white surface colors under a wide range of lighting conditions. This fundamental visual ability is not well understood, and current theories differ greatly on what image features are important for lightness perception. Here we measured classification images for human observers and four models of lightness perception to determine which image regions influenced lightness judgments. The models were a high-pass-filter model, an oriented difference-of-Gaussians model, an anchoring model, and an atmospheric-link-function model. Human and model observers viewed three variants of the argyle illusion (Adelson, 1993) and judged which of two test patches appeared lighter. Classification images showed that human lightness judgments were based on local, anisotropic stimulus regions that were bounded by regions of uniform lighting. The atmospheric-link-function and anchoring models predicted the lightness illusion perceived by human observers, but the high-pass-filter and oriented-difference-of-Gaussians models did not. Furthermore, all four models produced classification images that were qualitatively different from those of human observers, meaning that the model lightness judgments were guided by different image regions than human lightness judgments. These experiments provide a new test of models of lightness perception, and show that human observers' lightness computations can be highly local, as in low-level models, and nevertheless depend strongly on lighting boundaries, as suggested by midlevel models.
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