Intermediate Levels of Visual Processing.
Final rept. 1 Oct 91-30 Sep 94,
HARVARD UNIV CAMBRIDGE MA DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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We completed a comprehensive theoretical account of visual surface representation based on a new understanding of many of our recently reported perceptual phenomena. In particular, we determined the degree to which the generic view principle can explain these new findings and also extended its domain to a large number of perceptual phenomena Shimojo and Nakayama, 1992. We apply the generic sampling principle which indicates that the visual system acts as if it were viewing surface layouts from generic, not accidental vantage points. Through the observers experience of optical sampling, which can be characterize geometrically, the visual system makes associative connections between images and surfaces, passively internalizing the conditional probabilities of image sampling from surfaces. In turn, this enables the visual system to determine which surface a given image most strongly predicts. Thus, visual surface perception can be considered as inverse ecological optics based on learning through ecological optics. Because of its neglect of prior probabilities and higher level knowledge, visual surface perception deviates from strict Bayesian notions of inference.
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