Abstract

Channel-based models of human spatial vision require that the output of spatial filters be pooled across space. This pooling yields global estimates of local feature attributes such as orientation that are useful in situations in which that attribute may be locally variable, as is the case for visual texture. The spatial characteristics of orientation summation are considered in the study. By assessing the effect of orientation variability on observers’ ability to estimate the mean orientation of spatially unstructured textures, one can determine both the internal noise on each orientation sample and the number of samples being pooled. By a combination of fixing and covarying the size of textured regions and the number of elements constituting them, one can then assess the effects of the texture’s size, density, and numerosity (the number of elements present) on the internal noise and the sampling density. Results indicate that internal noise shows a primary dependence on texture density but that, counterintuitively, subjects rely on a sample size approximately equal to a fixed power of the number of samples present, regardless of their spatial arrangement. Orientation pooling is entirely flexible with respect to the position of input features.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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