Abstract

The brightnesses (i.e., perceived luminance) of surfaces within a three-dimensional scene are contingent on both the luminances and the spatial arrangement of the surfaces. Observers viewed a CRT through a haploscope that presented simulated achromatic surfaces in three dimensions. They set a test patch to be ∼33% more intense than a comparison patch to match the comparison patch in brightness, which is consistent with viewing a real scene with a simple lightning interpretation from which to estimate a different level of illumination in each depth plane. Randomly positioning each surface in either depth plane minimized any simple lighting interpretation, concomitantly reducing brightness differences to ∼8.5%, although the immediate surrounds of the test and comparison patches continued to differ by a 5:1 luminance ratio.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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