Beaudot W H A, Mullen K T, 2000, "Role of chromaticity, contrast, and local orientation cues in the perception of density" Perception 29(5) 581 – 600
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Role of chromaticity, contrast, and local orientation cues in the perception of density
William H A Beaudot, Kathy T Mullen
Received 14 July 1999, in revised form 21 January 2000
Abstract. We compared the role of the red - green, blue - yellow, and luminance post-receptoral mechanisms in the perception of density. The task requires the comparison of densities between two stimuli composed of oriented bandpass elements, pseudo-randomly scattered across an area of constant size. The perception of density differences was measured by a temporal 2AFC procedure for all pairs of mechanisms and for four possible densities. We found that stimuli of identical physical densities are not perceived equally: there is a consistent bias in favour of blue - yellow stimuli which are perceived as significantly more dense than red - green and achromatic stimuli. We considered three factors that could have differentially affected the density perception of blue - yellow stimuli: an increase in the perceived size of the individual blue - yellow elements, a perceived contrast difference, and the presence of local orientation cues. We found that the increased perceived density of the blue - yellow stimuli occurred despite the fact that there was no increase in perceived size of the individual elements, and remained despite corrections for the two other factors. We conclude that the significant increase in perceived density for the blue - yellow mechanism is a global effect, associated with a perceived colour 'melting' of the elements in the array. Our data were fitted with the occupancy model of Allik and Tuulmets (1991, Perception & Psychophysics 49 303 - 314) and we found that blue - yellow stimuli have a greater 'occupancy' than red - green or achromatic stimuli.
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