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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The analysis of slant-from-texture in early vision Aks, Deborah J.


A considerable amount of research exists on the subjective perception of three-dimensional structure from texture gradients. The present set of experiments extends these tests of phenomenal perception by examining the underlying processes used in interpreting slant-from-texture. The first two experiments show that measures of subjective perception predict speeded performance in a visual search task, and that the mediating representation relies on an assumption of projective size (i.e., discriminating the size of the target is difficult when the short target is far or the long target is near). The third experiment shows that sensitivity to apparent depth in the texture display is present even in rapid and parallel search conditions where early vision is known to operate. The fourth experiment assesses the relative contribution of two dominant dimensions of the texture gradient -- "perspective" (i.e., a radial pattern) and "compression" (i.e., a foreshortened pattern). Both dimensions are detected by early vision as signals for apparent depth. The fmal experiment examines how early vision codes these two dimensions. Sternberg's (1969) Additive Factors Method (AFM) is used to assess separability of encoding, and Blalock's path analysis (1962, 1985) is used to examine the order of encoding. AFM shows that perspective and compression have independent influences on search performance in the most rapid search conditions, but that their interaction increases as search slows. The path analysis shows further that when both texture dimensions are available, perspective exerts a more immediate and perhaps even an exclusive influence on performance. These findings support the view that perspective and compression are coded separately at the earliest stages of visual processing and share a common code only later in visual processing.

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