A multiscale spatial filtering account of the Wertheimer-Benary effect and the corrugated Mondrian

Barbara Blakeslee, Mark E. McCourt

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Abstract

Blakeslee and McCourt [Blakeslee, B., & McCourt, M.E. (1997). Similar mechanisms underlie simultaneous brightness contrast and grating induction. Vision Research, 37, 2849-2869] demonstrated that a multiscale array of two-dimensional difference-of-Gaussian (DOG) filters provided a simple but powerful model for explaining a number of seemingly complex features of grating induction (GI), while simultaneously encompassing salient features of brightness induction in simultaneous brightness contrast (SBC), brightness assimilation and Hermann Grid stimuli. The DOG model (and isotropic contrast models in general) cannot, however, account for another important group of brightness effects including the White effect [White, M. (1997). A new effect of pattern on perceived lightness. Perception, 8, 413-416] and a variant of SBC [Todorovic, D. (1997). Lightness and junctions. Perception, 26, 379-395]. Blakeslee and McCourt [Blakeslee, B., McCourt, M.E. (1999). A multiscale spatial filtering account of the White effect, simultaneous brightness contrast and grating induction. Vision Research, 39, 4361-4377] developed a modified version of the model, an oriented (ODOG) model, which differed from the DOG model in that the filters were anisotropic and their outputs were pooled nonlinearly. Using this model, they were able to account for both groups of induction effects. The present paper examines two additional sets of brightness illusions that cannot be explained by isotropic contrast models. Psychophysical brightness matching is employed to quantitatively measure the size of the brightness effect for two Wertheimer-Benary stimuli [Benary, W. (1924). Beobachtungen zu einem experiment uber helligkeitskontrast. Psychologische Forschung, 5, 131-142; Todorovic, D. (1997). Lightness and junctions. Perception, 26, 379-395] and for low- and high-contrast versions of corrugated Mondrian stimuli [Adelson, E.H. (1993). Perceptual organization and the jugdement of brightness. Science, 262, 2042-2044; Todorovic, D. (1997). Lightness and junctions. Perception, 26, 379-395]. Brightness matches are obtained on both homogeneous and checkerboard matching backgrounds. The ODOG model qualitatively predicts the appearance of the test patches in the Wertheimer-Benary stimuli and corrugated Mondrian stimuli. In addition, it quantitatively predicts the relative magnitudes of the corrugated Mondrian effects in the various conditions. In general, the psychophysical results and ODOG modeling argue strongly that like SBC, GI, the White effect and Todorovic's SBC demonstration, induced brightness in Wertheimer-Benary stimuli and in the corrugated Mondrian primarily reflects early-stage filtering operations in the visual system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2487-2502
Number of pages16
JournalVision research
Volume41
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 16 2001

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Keywords

  • Benary cross
  • Brightness induction
  • Corrugated Mondrian
  • Wertheimer-Benary effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

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