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Charlotte Falkenberg, Franz Faul; Transparent layer constancy is improved by motion, stereo disparity, highly regular background pattern, and successive presentation. Journal of Vision 2019;19(12):16. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.12.16.
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The visual system uses figural and colorimetric regularities in the retinal image to recognize optical filters and to discern the properties of the transparent overlay from properties of the background. Previous work suggests that the perceived color and transmittance of the transparent layer vary less under illumination changes than it would be expected from corresponding changes in the input. Here, we tested how the degree of this approximate transparent layer constancy (TLC) depends on factors that presumably facilitate the decomposition into a filter and a background layer. Using an asymmetric filter matching task, we found that motion, stereo disparity, and a highly regular background pattern each contribute to the vividness of the transparency impression and the degree of TLC. Combining these cues led to a cumulative increase in TLC, suggesting a “strong fusion” cue integration process. We also tested objects with invalid figural conditions for transparency (T-junctions). The tendency to perceive these objects as opaque and to establish a proximal match increased the more conspicuous the violation of this figural condition was. Furthermore, we investigated the gain in TLC due to alternating presentation. Alternating presentation enhanced TLC and color constancy to a comparable degree, and our results suggest that adaptation contributes to this effect.
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