Abstract

We examined how variations in color and brightness are used by the visual system in distinguishing textured surfaces that differed in their first- or second-order statistics. Observers viewed a 32×32 array containing two types of square elements differing in chromaticity or luminance or both. The spatial distributions of the two kinds of elements were varied within the array until observers could distinguish two juxtaposed regions. At low but not at high contrast, observers are better able to distinguish regions when the elements differ only in chromaticity than when they differ only in luminance. The advantage of color at low contrasts results from the greater visibility of the arrays defined by color variation. An observer’s capacity to distinguish textures defined by variations in first-order chromatic statistics is little affected by the addition of achromatic noise but is more affected by the addition of chromatic noise. The relative robustness of chromatic cues in the face of achromatic noise leaves the visual system well equipped to exploit color variations in segmenting complex scenes, even in the presence of variations in brightness. This capacity seems to depend on mechanisms that sum over large regions: When surfaces differ in their second-order statistics and cannot be distinguished by mechanisms that sum over large regions, the advantage of color is much diminished.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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References

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    [Crossref] [PubMed]
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    [Crossref] [PubMed]
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    [Crossref] [PubMed]
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    [Crossref] [PubMed]
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    [Crossref] [PubMed]
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    [Crossref]
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    [Crossref] [PubMed]
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    [Crossref] [PubMed]
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    [Crossref] [PubMed]
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  25. V. C. Greenstein, D. Halevy, Q. Zaidi, K. L. Koenig, R. H. Ritch, “Chromatic and luminance systems deficits in glaucoma,” Vision Res. 36, 621–629 (1996).
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    [Crossref] [PubMed]
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1997 (1)

A. Li, P. Lennie, “Mechanisms underlying segmentation of colored textures,” Vision Res. 37, 83–97 (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1996 (1)

V. C. Greenstein, D. Halevy, Q. Zaidi, K. L. Koenig, R. H. Ritch, “Chromatic and luminance systems deficits in glaucoma,” Vision Res. 36, 621–629 (1996).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1994 (1)

1993 (1)

1992 (3)

F. A. A. Kingdom, B. Moulden, S. Collyer, “A comparison between colour and luminance contrast in a spatial linking task,” Vision Res. 32, 709–717 (1992).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

M. Gur, V. Akri, “Isoluminant stimuli may not expose the full contribution of color to visual functioning: Spatial contrast sensitivity measurements indicate interaction between color and luminance processing,” Vision Res. 32, 1253–1262 (1992).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

K. R. Gegenfurtner, D. C. Kiper, “Contrast detection in luminance and chromatic noise,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 9, 1880–1888 (1992).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1990 (2)

W. McIlhaga, T. Hine, G. R. Cole, A. W. Snyder, “Texture segregation with luminance and chromatic contrast,” Vision Res. 30, 489–495 (1990).
[Crossref]

J. R. Jordan, W. S. Geisler, A. C. Bovik, “Color as a source of information in the stereo correspondence process,” Vision Res. 30, 1955–1970 (1990).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1989 (2)

L. F. Van Sickle, W. S. Geisler, “Stereopsis in the absence of chromatic aberrations,” Optics News 18, 174 (1989).

J. D. Mollon, “ ‘Tho’ she kneel’d in that place where they grew,’ The uses and origins of primate colour vision,” J. Exp. Biol. 146, 21–38 (1989).
[PubMed]

1988 (1)

1987 (1)

R. T. Eskew, R. M. Boynton, “Effects of field area and configuration on chromatic and border discriminations,” Vision Res. 27, 1835–1844 (1987).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1985 (2)

K. H. Foster, J. P. Gaska, M. Nagler, D. A. Pollen, “Spatial and temporal frequency selectivity of neurones in visual cortical areas V1 and V2 of the macaque monkey,” J. Physiol. (London) 365, 331–363 (1985).

K. T. Mullen, “The contrast sensitivity of human colour vision to red-green and blue-yellow chromatic gratings,” J. Physiol. (London) 359, 381–400 (1985).

1984 (3)

1982 (1)

J. Krauskopf, D. R. Williams, D. W. Heeley, “Cardinal directions of color space,” Vision Res. 22, 1123–1131 (1982).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1975 (1)

O. Estévez, C. R. Cavonius, “Flicker sensitivity of the human red and green color mechanisms,” Vision Res. 15, 879–881 (1975).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1974 (1)

O. Estévez, H. Spekreijse, “A spectral compensation method for determining the flicker characteristics of the human colour mechanisms,” Vision Res. 14, 823–830 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1973 (1)

B. Julesz, H. L. Frisch, E. N. Gilbert, L. A. Shepp, “Inability of humans to discriminate between visual textures that agree in second-order statistics—revisited,” Perception 2, 391–405 (1973).
[Crossref]

1971 (1)

1970 (1)

1968 (1)

D. G. Green, “The contrast sensitivity of the colour mechanisms of the human eye,” J. Physiol. 196, 415–429 (1968).
[PubMed]

1967 (1)

Akri, V.

M. Gur, V. Akri, “Isoluminant stimuli may not expose the full contribution of color to visual functioning: Spatial contrast sensitivity measurements indicate interaction between color and luminance processing,” Vision Res. 32, 1253–1262 (1992).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Bouman, M. A.

Bovik, A. C.

J. R. Jordan, W. S. Geisler, A. C. Bovik, “Color as a source of information in the stereo correspondence process,” Vision Res. 30, 1955–1970 (1990).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Boynton, R. M.

R. T. Eskew, R. M. Boynton, “Effects of field area and configuration on chromatic and border discriminations,” Vision Res. 27, 1835–1844 (1987).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Bradley, A.

Brainard, D. H.

Cavanagh, P.

Cavonius, C. R.

O. Estévez, C. R. Cavonius, “Flicker sensitivity of the human red and green color mechanisms,” Vision Res. 15, 879–881 (1975).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

R. Hilz, C. R. Cavonius, “Wavelength discrimination measured with square-wave gratings,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 273–277 (1970).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Cole, G. R.

W. McIlhaga, T. Hine, G. R. Cole, A. W. Snyder, “Texture segregation with luminance and chromatic contrast,” Vision Res. 30, 489–495 (1990).
[Crossref]

Collyer, S.

F. A. A. Kingdom, B. Moulden, S. Collyer, “A comparison between colour and luminance contrast in a spatial linking task,” Vision Res. 32, 709–717 (1992).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

De Valois, K. K.

E. Switkes, A. Bradley, K. K. De Valois, “Contrast dependence and mechanisms of masking interactions among chromatic and luminance gratings,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5, 1149–1162 (1988).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

E. Switkes, K. K. De Valois, “Luminance and chromaticity interactions in spatial vision,” in Color Vision, J. D. Mollon, L. T. Sharpe, eds. (Academic, London, 1983), pp. 375–383.

de Weert, C. M. M.

Derrington, A. M.

A. M. Derrington, J. Krauskopf, P. Lennie, “Chromatic mechanisms in lateral geniculate nucleus of macaque,” J. Physiol. (London) 357, 241–265 (1984).

Eskew, R. T.

R. T. Eskew, R. M. Boynton, “Effects of field area and configuration on chromatic and border discriminations,” Vision Res. 27, 1835–1844 (1987).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Estévez, O.

O. Estévez, C. R. Cavonius, “Flicker sensitivity of the human red and green color mechanisms,” Vision Res. 15, 879–881 (1975).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

O. Estévez, H. Spekreijse, “A spectral compensation method for determining the flicker characteristics of the human colour mechanisms,” Vision Res. 14, 823–830 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Favreau, O. E.

Foster, K. H.

K. H. Foster, J. P. Gaska, M. Nagler, D. A. Pollen, “Spatial and temporal frequency selectivity of neurones in visual cortical areas V1 and V2 of the macaque monkey,” J. Physiol. (London) 365, 331–363 (1985).

Frisch, H. L.

B. Julesz, H. L. Frisch, E. N. Gilbert, L. A. Shepp, “Inability of humans to discriminate between visual textures that agree in second-order statistics—revisited,” Perception 2, 391–405 (1973).
[Crossref]

Gaska, J. P.

K. H. Foster, J. P. Gaska, M. Nagler, D. A. Pollen, “Spatial and temporal frequency selectivity of neurones in visual cortical areas V1 and V2 of the macaque monkey,” J. Physiol. (London) 365, 331–363 (1985).

Gegenfurtner, K. R.

Geisler, W. S.

J. R. Jordan, W. S. Geisler, A. C. Bovik, “Color as a source of information in the stereo correspondence process,” Vision Res. 30, 1955–1970 (1990).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

L. F. Van Sickle, W. S. Geisler, “Stereopsis in the absence of chromatic aberrations,” Optics News 18, 174 (1989).

Gilbert, E. N.

B. Julesz, H. L. Frisch, E. N. Gilbert, L. A. Shepp, “Inability of humans to discriminate between visual textures that agree in second-order statistics—revisited,” Perception 2, 391–405 (1973).
[Crossref]

Green, D. G.

D. G. Green, “The contrast sensitivity of the colour mechanisms of the human eye,” J. Physiol. 196, 415–429 (1968).
[PubMed]

Greenstein, V. C.

V. C. Greenstein, D. Halevy, Q. Zaidi, K. L. Koenig, R. H. Ritch, “Chromatic and luminance systems deficits in glaucoma,” Vision Res. 36, 621–629 (1996).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Gur, M.

M. Gur, V. Akri, “Isoluminant stimuli may not expose the full contribution of color to visual functioning: Spatial contrast sensitivity measurements indicate interaction between color and luminance processing,” Vision Res. 32, 1253–1262 (1992).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Halevy, D.

V. C. Greenstein, D. Halevy, Q. Zaidi, K. L. Koenig, R. H. Ritch, “Chromatic and luminance systems deficits in glaucoma,” Vision Res. 36, 621–629 (1996).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Heeley, D. W.

J. Krauskopf, D. R. Williams, D. W. Heeley, “Cardinal directions of color space,” Vision Res. 22, 1123–1131 (1982).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Hilz, R.

Hine, T.

W. McIlhaga, T. Hine, G. R. Cole, A. W. Snyder, “Texture segregation with luminance and chromatic contrast,” Vision Res. 30, 489–495 (1990).
[Crossref]

Hurvich, L. M.

Jameson, D.

Jordan, J. R.

J. R. Jordan, W. S. Geisler, A. C. Bovik, “Color as a source of information in the stereo correspondence process,” Vision Res. 30, 1955–1970 (1990).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Julesz, B.

B. Julesz, H. L. Frisch, E. N. Gilbert, L. A. Shepp, “Inability of humans to discriminate between visual textures that agree in second-order statistics—revisited,” Perception 2, 391–405 (1973).
[Crossref]

Kingdom, F. A. A.

F. A. A. Kingdom, B. Moulden, S. Collyer, “A comparison between colour and luminance contrast in a spatial linking task,” Vision Res. 32, 709–717 (1992).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Kiper, D. C.

Koenig, K. L.

V. C. Greenstein, D. Halevy, Q. Zaidi, K. L. Koenig, R. H. Ritch, “Chromatic and luminance systems deficits in glaucoma,” Vision Res. 36, 621–629 (1996).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Krauskopf, J.

A. M. Derrington, J. Krauskopf, P. Lennie, “Chromatic mechanisms in lateral geniculate nucleus of macaque,” J. Physiol. (London) 357, 241–265 (1984).

J. Krauskopf, D. R. Williams, D. W. Heeley, “Cardinal directions of color space,” Vision Res. 22, 1123–1131 (1982).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Lennie, P.

A. Li, P. Lennie, “Mechanisms underlying segmentation of colored textures,” Vision Res. 37, 83–97 (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

A. M. Derrington, J. Krauskopf, P. Lennie, “Chromatic mechanisms in lateral geniculate nucleus of macaque,” J. Physiol. (London) 357, 241–265 (1984).

Li, A.

A. Li, P. Lennie, “Mechanisms underlying segmentation of colored textures,” Vision Res. 37, 83–97 (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Marimont, D. H.

McIlhaga, W.

W. McIlhaga, T. Hine, G. R. Cole, A. W. Snyder, “Texture segregation with luminance and chromatic contrast,” Vision Res. 30, 489–495 (1990).
[Crossref]

Mollon, J. D.

J. D. Mollon, “ ‘Tho’ she kneel’d in that place where they grew,’ The uses and origins of primate colour vision,” J. Exp. Biol. 146, 21–38 (1989).
[PubMed]

Moulden, B.

F. A. A. Kingdom, B. Moulden, S. Collyer, “A comparison between colour and luminance contrast in a spatial linking task,” Vision Res. 32, 709–717 (1992).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Mullen, K. T.

K. T. Mullen, “The contrast sensitivity of human colour vision to red-green and blue-yellow chromatic gratings,” J. Physiol. (London) 359, 381–400 (1985).

Nagler, M.

K. H. Foster, J. P. Gaska, M. Nagler, D. A. Pollen, “Spatial and temporal frequency selectivity of neurones in visual cortical areas V1 and V2 of the macaque monkey,” J. Physiol. (London) 365, 331–363 (1985).

Pollen, D. A.

K. H. Foster, J. P. Gaska, M. Nagler, D. A. Pollen, “Spatial and temporal frequency selectivity of neurones in visual cortical areas V1 and V2 of the macaque monkey,” J. Physiol. (London) 365, 331–363 (1985).

Regan, D.

Ritch, R. H.

V. C. Greenstein, D. Halevy, Q. Zaidi, K. L. Koenig, R. H. Ritch, “Chromatic and luminance systems deficits in glaucoma,” Vision Res. 36, 621–629 (1996).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Sekiguchi, N.

Shepp, L. A.

B. Julesz, H. L. Frisch, E. N. Gilbert, L. A. Shepp, “Inability of humans to discriminate between visual textures that agree in second-order statistics—revisited,” Perception 2, 391–405 (1973).
[Crossref]

Snyder, A. W.

W. McIlhaga, T. Hine, G. R. Cole, A. W. Snyder, “Texture segregation with luminance and chromatic contrast,” Vision Res. 30, 489–495 (1990).
[Crossref]

Spekreijse, H.

O. Estévez, H. Spekreijse, “A spectral compensation method for determining the flicker characteristics of the human colour mechanisms,” Vision Res. 14, 823–830 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Switkes, E.

E. Switkes, A. Bradley, K. K. De Valois, “Contrast dependence and mechanisms of masking interactions among chromatic and luminance gratings,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5, 1149–1162 (1988).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

E. Switkes, K. K. De Valois, “Luminance and chromaticity interactions in spatial vision,” in Color Vision, J. D. Mollon, L. T. Sharpe, eds. (Academic, London, 1983), pp. 375–383.

Tyler, C. W.

van der Horst, G. J. C.

Van Sickle, L. F.

L. F. Van Sickle, W. S. Geisler, “Stereopsis in the absence of chromatic aberrations,” Optics News 18, 174 (1989).

Varner, D.

Wandell, B. A.

Williams, D. R.

Zaidi, Q.

V. C. Greenstein, D. Halevy, Q. Zaidi, K. L. Koenig, R. H. Ritch, “Chromatic and luminance systems deficits in glaucoma,” Vision Res. 36, 621–629 (1996).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

J. Exp. Biol. (1)

J. D. Mollon, “ ‘Tho’ she kneel’d in that place where they grew,’ The uses and origins of primate colour vision,” J. Exp. Biol. 146, 21–38 (1989).
[PubMed]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (3)

J. Opt. Soc. Am. A (6)

J. Physiol. (1)

D. G. Green, “The contrast sensitivity of the colour mechanisms of the human eye,” J. Physiol. 196, 415–429 (1968).
[PubMed]

J. Physiol. (London) (3)

K. T. Mullen, “The contrast sensitivity of human colour vision to red-green and blue-yellow chromatic gratings,” J. Physiol. (London) 359, 381–400 (1985).

K. H. Foster, J. P. Gaska, M. Nagler, D. A. Pollen, “Spatial and temporal frequency selectivity of neurones in visual cortical areas V1 and V2 of the macaque monkey,” J. Physiol. (London) 365, 331–363 (1985).

A. M. Derrington, J. Krauskopf, P. Lennie, “Chromatic mechanisms in lateral geniculate nucleus of macaque,” J. Physiol. (London) 357, 241–265 (1984).

Optics News (1)

L. F. Van Sickle, W. S. Geisler, “Stereopsis in the absence of chromatic aberrations,” Optics News 18, 174 (1989).

Perception (1)

B. Julesz, H. L. Frisch, E. N. Gilbert, L. A. Shepp, “Inability of humans to discriminate between visual textures that agree in second-order statistics—revisited,” Perception 2, 391–405 (1973).
[Crossref]

Vision Res. (10)

A. Li, P. Lennie, “Mechanisms underlying segmentation of colored textures,” Vision Res. 37, 83–97 (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

R. T. Eskew, R. M. Boynton, “Effects of field area and configuration on chromatic and border discriminations,” Vision Res. 27, 1835–1844 (1987).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

J. Krauskopf, D. R. Williams, D. W. Heeley, “Cardinal directions of color space,” Vision Res. 22, 1123–1131 (1982).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

V. C. Greenstein, D. Halevy, Q. Zaidi, K. L. Koenig, R. H. Ritch, “Chromatic and luminance systems deficits in glaucoma,” Vision Res. 36, 621–629 (1996).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

J. R. Jordan, W. S. Geisler, A. C. Bovik, “Color as a source of information in the stereo correspondence process,” Vision Res. 30, 1955–1970 (1990).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

W. McIlhaga, T. Hine, G. R. Cole, A. W. Snyder, “Texture segregation with luminance and chromatic contrast,” Vision Res. 30, 489–495 (1990).
[Crossref]

F. A. A. Kingdom, B. Moulden, S. Collyer, “A comparison between colour and luminance contrast in a spatial linking task,” Vision Res. 32, 709–717 (1992).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

M. Gur, V. Akri, “Isoluminant stimuli may not expose the full contribution of color to visual functioning: Spatial contrast sensitivity measurements indicate interaction between color and luminance processing,” Vision Res. 32, 1253–1262 (1992).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

O. Estévez, C. R. Cavonius, “Flicker sensitivity of the human red and green color mechanisms,” Vision Res. 15, 879–881 (1975).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

O. Estévez, H. Spekreijse, “A spectral compensation method for determining the flicker characteristics of the human colour mechanisms,” Vision Res. 14, 823–830 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Other (1)

E. Switkes, K. K. De Valois, “Luminance and chromaticity interactions in spatial vision,” in Color Vision, J. D. Mollon, L. T. Sharpe, eds. (Academic, London, 1983), pp. 375–383.

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Figures (14)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

The arrangement of two types of elements (here shown as black and as white) in an array determines its dominance. Dominance is defined as the proportion of one element type on one side of the stimulus. At 50% dominance (left) half the elements on the left are black (and therefore half on the right are white). At 100% dominance (right) 100% of the elements on the left are black (and 100% on the right are white). Dominance was varied to the point at which observers could just distinguish two regions in the stimulus.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Examples of simple arrays at 60% dominance. The two classes of elements differ only in luminance (top left) or only in chromaticity (bottom left). Panels on the right show the same arrays, now with element values perturbed by the addition of one-dimensional noise. At top right, chromatic noise has been added to the light- and dark-gray elements of the achromatic array; at the bottom right, achromatic noise has been added to the red and green elements of the chromatic array.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Examples of complex arrays at 100% dominance. The two classes of elements differ in the statistics of the distributions of element luminances (top left) or chromaticities (bottom left). In both cases the distributions of elements have zero mean but differ in shape, one being Gaussian, the other uniform. The sides of the arrays on which elements are uniformly distributed (left) appear to have higher contrast. Panels on the right show the same arrays, now with element values perturbed by the addition of one-dimensional noise. At top right, chromatic noise has been added to the distributions of gray elements of the achromatic array; at bottom right, achromatic noise has been added to the distributions of red and green elements of the chromatic array.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Diagrams showing the locations in color space of the elements constituting the simple arrays shown in Fig. 2. In the absence of noise, arrays contained only two element values (left); when noise was added, the chromaticity (top right) or luminance (bottom right) of the elements was perturbed, so the values of elements were distributed along lines in color space. For additional information see text.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Visibility thresholds in rms cone contrast for chromatic, mixed, and achromatic arrays of elements. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals around the means, each based on three sets of measurements.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Dominance required for segmentation, as a function of element contrast, where contrast is expressed in units of threshold visibility. Different kinds of elements (chromatic, achromatic, mixed) are shown by different symbols identified in the figure.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Dominance thresholds from Fig. 6, replotted as a function of rms cone contrast. Other details as in Fig. 6.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Dominance required for the segmentation of arrays of chromatic elements, each one fourth of the area used in the main experiment. In the small condition (downward triangles), the number of elements was kept constant and the area of the array was changed; in the small/same area condition (upward triangles), the area of the array was kept constant and the number of elements was changed.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Dominance required for the segmentation arrays of chromatic elements, each 4× the area used in the main experiment. Other details as for Fig. 8.

Fig. 10
Fig. 10

Dominance required for segmentation of arrays in which the two classes of elements were defined by the different shapes of their distributions of chromaticity or luminance. One distribution was Gaussian, the other uniform (see text for details). Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals around the means, each based on three sets of measurements.

Fig. 11
Fig. 11

Dominance required for segmentation of a chromatic array in the presence of chromatic noise (solid lines) and achromatic noise (dashed lines). Thresholds are expressed as multiples of the unmasked threshold. Noise amplitude is expressed as the standard deviation in visibility threshold units. Points have been fitted linearly with the zero-noise point fixed. The observers’ sensitivities to chromatic noise are 81× (upper) and 59× (lower) greater than their sensitivities to achromatic noise.

Fig. 12
Fig. 12

Dominance required for segmentation of an achromatic array in the presence of achromatic noise (thick solid lines) and chromatic noise (thick dashed lines). The observers’ sensitivities to achromatic noise are 4.5× (upper) and 2.4× (lower) greater than their sensitivities to chromatic noise. For direct comparison, the masking lines from Fig. 11 have been replotted as thin solid lines (chromatic noise on a chromatic target) and thin dashed lines (achromatic noise on a chromatic target).

Fig. 13
Fig. 13

Potency of achromatic and chromatic noise in masking the segmentation of arrays in which the two classes of elements differed in their first-order statistics (mean chromaticity or mean luminance). For each of two observers the bars show the slopes of masking functions for all combinations of element type (chromatic or achromatic) and noise type (chromatic or achromatic).

Fig. 14
Fig. 14

Potency of achromatic and chromatic noise in masking the segmentation of arrays in which the two classes of elements were defined by different second-order statistics (the different shapes of their distributions of chromaticity or luminance). For each of two observers the bars show the slopes of masking functions for a chromatic target in achromatic noise and an achromatic target in chromatic noise.

Tables (1)

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Table 1 Size and Number of Texture Elements Used to Explore Effects of Configuration on Performance

Equations (1)

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f(x)=1-(1-c) exp(-x/a)b

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