Burge J, Fowlkes C C, Banks M S, 2007, "Configural cues, disparity, and depth perception: internalization of natural scene statistics" Perception 36 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Configural cues, disparity, and depth perception: internalization of natural scene statistics
J Burge, C C Fowlkes, M S Banks
Configural cues, like convexity, are thought to provide ordinal depth information. Yet those cues, when paired with binocular disparity, affect the magnitude of perceived depth (Burge et al, 2005 Journal of Vision 5 534 - 542). We conducted an experiment to determine whether humans integrate convexity and disparity in Bayesian fashion. Observers viewed stereograms with depth edges of varying curvature. For a given disparity, observers perceived greater depth when the edge was convex rather than concave. These data are predicted by a model in which the distribution of depth change across curved contours is skewed such that the convex side of the contour is more likely to be near than the concave side. To see if a similar relationship characterizes the natural environment, we measured the joint statistics of convexity and depth from numerous luminance-and-range images of natural scenes. The likelihoods derived from subjects and scene statistics were quite similar, suggesting that configural cues provide metric depth information and that the associated ecological statistics have been internalized by the visual system.
[Supported by NIH grant EY12851 and AOF's William C Ezell Fellowship.]
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