The role of natural lighting diffuseness in human visual perception

Yaniv Morgenstern, Wilson S. Geisler, Richard F. Murray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The pattern of the light that falls on the retina is a conflation of real-world sources such as illumination and reflectance. Human observers often contend with the inherent ambiguity of the underlying sources by making assumptions about what real-world sources are most likely. Here we examine whether the visual system's assumptions about illumination match the statistical regularities of the real world. We used a custom-built multidirectional photometer to capture lighting relevant to the shading of Lambertian surfaces in hundreds of real-world scenes. We quantify the diffuseness of these lighting measurements, and compare them to previous biases in human visual perception. We find that (1) natural lighting diffuseness falls over the same range as previous psychophysical estimates of the visual system's assumptions on diffuseness, and (2) natural lighting almost always provides lighting direction cues that are strong enough to override the human visual system's well known assumption that light tends to come from above. A consequence of these findings is that what seem to be errors in visual perception are often actually byproducts of the visual system knowing about and using reliable properties of real-world lighting when contending with ambiguous retinal images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE-IS and T Electronic Imaging - Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XX
EditorsBernice E. Rogowitz, Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas, Huib de Ridder
PublisherSPIE
ISBN (Electronic)9781628414844
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
EventHuman Vision and Electronic Imaging XX - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 9 2015Feb 12 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume9394
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Other

OtherHuman Vision and Electronic Imaging XX
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period2/9/152/12/15

Fingerprint

Visual Perception
Human Perception
visual perception
illuminating
Visual System
Lighting
Illumination
Human Visual System
Retina
Shading
Ambiguous
illumination
Reflectance
retinal images
Observer
Quantify
retina
Regularity
Likely
cues

Keywords

  • Bayesian modeling
  • Illumination statistics
  • Inverse optics
  • Lightness perception

Cite this

Morgenstern, Y., Geisler, W. S., & Murray, R. F. (2015). The role of natural lighting diffuseness in human visual perception. In B. E. Rogowitz, T. N. Pappas, & H. de Ridder (Eds.), Proceedings of SPIE-IS and T Electronic Imaging - Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XX [93940P] (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 9394). SPIE. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2086258

The role of natural lighting diffuseness in human visual perception. / Morgenstern, Yaniv; Geisler, Wilson S.; Murray, Richard F.

Proceedings of SPIE-IS and T Electronic Imaging - Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XX. ed. / Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Huib de Ridder. SPIE, 2015. 93940P (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 9394).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Morgenstern, Y, Geisler, WS & Murray, RF 2015, The role of natural lighting diffuseness in human visual perception. in BE Rogowitz, TN Pappas & H de Ridder (eds), Proceedings of SPIE-IS and T Electronic Imaging - Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XX., 93940P, Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, vol. 9394, SPIE, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XX, San Francisco, United States, 2/9/15. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2086258
Morgenstern Y, Geisler WS, Murray RF. The role of natural lighting diffuseness in human visual perception. In Rogowitz BE, Pappas TN, de Ridder H, editors, Proceedings of SPIE-IS and T Electronic Imaging - Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XX. SPIE. 2015. 93940P. (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2086258
Morgenstern, Yaniv ; Geisler, Wilson S. ; Murray, Richard F. / The role of natural lighting diffuseness in human visual perception. Proceedings of SPIE-IS and T Electronic Imaging - Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XX. editor / Bernice E. Rogowitz ; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas ; Huib de Ridder. SPIE, 2015. (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering).
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