2012 volume 41(7) pages 774 – 790

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Tozawa J, 2012, "Height perception influenced by texture gradient" Perception 41(7) 774 – 790

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Height perception influenced by texture gradient

Junko Tozawa

Abstract. Three experiments were carried out to examine whether a texture gradient influences perception of relative object height. Previous research implicated texture cues in judgments of object width, but similar influences have not been demonstrated for relative height. In this study, I evaluate a hypothesis that the projective ratio of the number of texture elements covered by the objects combined with the ratio of the retinal object heights determines percepts of relative object height. Density of texture background was varied: four density conditions ranged from no-texture to very dense texture. In experiments 1 and 2, participants judged the height of comparison bar compared to the standard bar positioned on no-texture or textured backgrounds. Results showed relative height judgments differed with texture manipulations, consistent with predictions from a hypothesised combination of the number of texture elements with retinal height (experiment 1), or partially consistent with this hypothesis (experiment 2). In experiment 2, variations in the position of a comparison object showed that comparisons located far from the horizon were judged more poorly than in other positions. In experiment 3 I examined distance perception; relative distance judgments were found to be also affected by textured backgrounds. Results are discussed in terms of Gibson’s relational theory and distance calibration theory.
Keywords: texture gradient, size constancy, height perception, distance perception

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