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Richard F. Murray; A model of lightness perception guided by probabilistic assumptions about lighting and reflectance. Journal of Vision 2020;20(7):28. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.7.28.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Lightness perception is the ability to perceive black, white, and gray surface colors in a wide range of lighting conditions and contexts. This ability is fundamental for any biological or artificial visual system, but it poses a difficult computational problem, and how the human visual system computes lightness is not well understood. Here I show that several key phenomena in lightness perception can be explained by a probabilistic graphical model that makes a few simple assumptions about local patterns of lighting and reflectance, and infers globally optimal interpretations of stimulus images. Like human observers, the model exhibits partial lightness constancy, codetermination, contrast, glow, and articulation effects. It also arrives at human-like interpretations of strong lightness illusions that have challenged previous models. The model’s assumptions are reasonable and generic, including, for example, that lighting intensity spans a much wider range than surface reflectance and that shadow boundaries tend to be straighter than reflectance edges. Thus, a probabilistic model based on simple assumptions about lighting and reflectance gives a good computational account of lightness perception over a wide range of conditions. This work also shows how graphical models can be extended to develop more powerful models of constancy that incorporate features such color and depth.
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