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Photometric determinants of perceived transparency Manish Singh a,*, Barton L. Anderson b

Summary: Photometric determinants of perceived transparency
Manish Singh a,*, Barton L. Anderson b
Department of Psychology and Center for Cognitive Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick Campus, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8020, USA
School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Received 31 July 2005; received in revised form 5 October 2005
Photometric constraints for the perception of transparency were investigated using stereoscopic textured displays. A contrast discon-
tinuity divided the textured displays into two lateral halves, with one (reference) half fixed. Observers adjusted the luminance range with-
in the other (test) half in order to perform two tasks: (i) indicate the highest luminance range for which the test side is perceived to be
transparent, and (ii) indicate the lowest luminance range for which the test side is seen as being in plain view. Settings were obtained for
multiple values of test mean luminance, in order to map out the perceptual locus of transition between transparency and non-transpar-
ency. The results revealed a systematic violation of MetelliÕs magnitude constraint in predicting the percept of transparency. Observer
settings were approximated instead by a constraint based on perceived contrast (which matched Michelson contrast for the textures
used). The results also revealed large asymmetries between darkening and lightening transparency. When the test was darker than the
reference, settings were highly consistent across observers and closely followed the Michelson-contrast prediction. When the test was
lighter, however, there was greater variability across observers, with two observers exhibiting shifts toward MetelliÕs magnitude con-
straint. Moreover, each observerÕs setting reliability was significantly worse for lightening transparency than darkening transparency.
These results suggest that (polarity-preserving) darkening serves as an additional cue to perceptual transparency.


Source: Anderson, Barton L. - School of Psychology, University of Sydney
Singh, Manish - Department of Psychology, Rutgers University


Collections: Biology and Medicine