Abstract

Many animals have visual systems that exploit the polarization of light, and some of these systems are thought to compute difference signals in parallel from arrays of photoreceptors optimally tuned to orthogonal polarizations. We hypothesize that such polarization – difference systems can improve the visibility of objects in scattering media by serving as common-mode rejection amplifiers that reduce the effects of background scattering and amplify the signal from targets whose polarization-difference magnitude is distinct from the background. We present experimental results obtained with a target in a highly scattering medium, demonstrating that a manmade polarization-difference system can render readily visible surface features invisible to conventional imaging.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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