Seeing and Perceiving 25 (2012) 365–395 brill.nl/sp A Bayesian Observer Replicates Convexity Context Effects in Figure–Ground Perception Daniel Goldreich 1 , ∗ and Mary A. Peterson 2 1 Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 2 Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science Program, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA Received 14 September 2010; accepted 11 February 2012 Abstract Peterson and Salvagio (2008) demonstrated convexity context effects in figure–ground perception. Subjects shown displays consisting of unfamiliar alternating convex and concave regions identified the convex regions as foreground objects progressively more frequently as the number of regions increased; this occurred only when the concave regions were homogeneously colored. The origins of these effects have been unclear. Here, we present a two-free-parameter Bayesian observer that replicates convexity context effects. The Bayesian observer incorporates two plausible expectations regarding three-dimensional scenes: (1) objects tend to be convex rather than concave, and (2) backgrounds tend (more than foreground objects) to be homogeneously colored. The Bayesian observer estimates the probability that a depicted scene is three- dimensional, and that the convex regions are figures. It responds stochastically by sampling from its posterior distributions. Like human observers, the Bayesian observer shows convexity
Seeing and Perceiving (continuation of Spatial Vision from 2010 and continued as Multisensory Research from 2013) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2012
Keywords: Bayesian inference; scene segregation; Figure–ground; computational model; object convexity; configural cue; natural scene statistics; Gestalt principles
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