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Human Vision & Computer Vision


Introduction to perception Lab session 1


Daniel Suazo Cimet 2012-14

Method of limits (1.1) In the method of limits, stimuli are presented in ascending or descending order, with the observer making a response after each presentation. A stimulus series is continued until the response changes. At that point, a new series begins, usually in the opposite order. The point at which the observers response changes, provides information about the perceptual threshold. This demonstration shows how the method of limits could be used to determine the absolute threshold for hearing a tone. Each time you click present tone, LASZLO responds either YES (detected the stimulus) or NO (did not detect the stimulus) to each stimulus presented. Click to present the next series when the response changes in each series. Also, be sure to click on the two buttons located below LASZLO. Results & discussion 1. Report your results: mean descending, mean ascending, absolute threshold. Mean descending: 6,3 Mean ascending: 7,3 Absolute threshold: 6,8 2. What is the error of habituation and how is this problem minimized in the method of limits? The error of habituation is the result when the same stimulus is presented repeatedly. If we present the subject with samples in a way that does not vary; he/she can easily make an error of habituation (the subject becomes complacent and starts evaluating using a routine rather than concentrating on each sample). But by presenting the stimuli in ascending and descending order of intensity, and only asking the user to give a yes or no response; then we can minimize the error of habituation. This is due to the fact that the subject will be confronted with first something that is clearly perceptible which will decrease in intensity, followed up immediately by something that is clearly not perceptible which will increase in intensity. This contrast will help minimize the error of habituation. 3. Why were the thresholds different from series to series? The threshold is simply the lowest amount of a stimulus that can be detected. But this is not the same threshold for every person, and in fact it wont be a constant threshold within any of us. There will be psycological errors that vary the data, and many physiological processes that will influence the subject. But also, due to the fact that most of the time we evaluate with Top-down processing; our previous knowledge will alter our next response, and this will never be a constant.

Measuring illusions (1.2) In this experiment you can measure the strength of three illusions using the method of limits. The three illusions are the MULLER-LYER illusion, the vertical-horizontal illusion, and the simultaneous brightness contrast. After practicing one of the illusions, click Experiment and pick one of the corresponding illusions. Choose Visual feedback. In each version of this experiment you will be asked to make a YES-NO judgment comparing two stimuli. Be sure to pay attention to the question being asked, and dont miss the briefly presented stimulus. Respond when the YES and NO buttons are no longer dimmed. You can print your data for each condition and each illusion, and save it to a file until you have completed this exercise.

a. MULLER-LYER illusion This exercise provides the opportunity to measure how the length of the arrowheads affects the size of the MULLERLYER illusion. However, since our purpose here is to illustrate a psychophysical procedure, just pick one arrowhead length (Medium or Long are preferred). Arrowhead Medium was chosen Results & discussion 1. Report your data: point of subjective equality (PSE), error (standard PSE), percentage of error ((error / standard) 100). Point of subjective equality (PSE) 220.1 Error (standard PSE) 70.1 pixels Percentage of error ((error / standard) 100) 46.73 %

2. Why do you think the two illusion figures were placed with some offset when presented and why were they presented for only a few seconds? Is this a good idea?
The point of this visual illusion is not the result, but to demonstrate how are visual system can be tricked into seeing inaccurately. By presenting the figures with some offset between their positions, and for only a few seconds, it presents the subject with an afterimage (the visual sensation that remains after a stimulus is withdrawn) and doesn't allow the subject to cheat and try to measure the lines, which would make the exercise meaningless.

3. Does any theory exist that can explain this property of Human Vision? Emmert's Law The farther away an afterimage appears, the larger it will seem. S = K (R x D) Where, S is the object's perceived size K is a constant (scaling factor) R is the size of the retinal image D is the perceived distance of the object The MULLER-LYER illusion is a misapplied case of size constancy scaling. Size constancy is an adjustment we make in our brain that tells us, for example, that a person walking away from us isn't shrinking; though the person's image on our retina gets smaller, our perception of the person's distance gets larger, making their size seem constant. In the case of this illusion we have arrowheads at the end of lines, one pair of arrowheads appear to be retracting and the other pair spreading out. This triggers in our visual system a size constancy adjustment, making the line with the arrowheads spreading out seem further away. So the term D in the equation above will be larger. In both cases the image in our retina will be the same, but the perceived difference of distance will fool our visual system into thinking one is larger than the other.



R2 = R 1 D2 > D1 Therefore S2 seems larger than S1

b. Vertical-Horizontal illusion One view of the vertical-horizontal illusion suggests that the bisection of the horizontal line by the vertical line in the standard illusion figure is the primary cause of the illusion. In this experiment you will be able to test this theory. The TOP condition presents the vertical line above and separate from the horizontal line. The BOTTOM condition presents the vertical line in the standard position, bisecting the horizontal line. Your task is to indicate whether the vertical line is longer than the horizontal line. Be sure to wait until the response buttons are activated before you respond, and be ready for the briefly presented stimuli. Print out and save your data for each condition.

1. Report your data for each presentation condition. Was the illusion magnitude larger or smaller when the vertical line was not touching the horizontal line? You have not performed the necessary statistics to allow a scientific conclusion concerning significance, but, for these purposes, make a judgment based on your honest impressions. Standard: 150 TOP PSE: 171 % of error: 14% BOTTOM PSE: 139 % of error: 7% In my opinion, which is reflected by the PSE's above, when the lines are bisecting one gets a better idea of their relationship in terms of their size. So the magnitude will be larger when the lines are not touching. 2. Does this support the theory that the bisection of the line is critical to the illusion, and not some difference in judging vertical and horizontal lines? If it does support that theory, is the data conclusive? I think it does support that theory, but no the data is most certainly not conclusive. In either case there will be errors, from the small sample size above we see that the magnitude of the illusion is twice as large when the lines are not bisecting. This makes a case fot it being a critical factor in the illusion.

3. Have you noticed any strengths or problems associated with the method of limits? Some strenghts are: You get a small number of trials because observations are concentrated around the threshold. You dont need to know where the threshold is at the start of the trial. Some problems are: Anticipation of the stimulus arrival and prematurely report. Falsely increases/decreases thresholds on ascending/descending trials.

c. Simultaneous contrast Simultaneous brightness contrast occurs when a test stimulus brightness is influenced by the brightness of its background. Typically, test stimuli that are presented surrounded by a dark background look brighter than when they are presented on a lighter background. This experiment provides the opportunity to measure the simultaneous contrast effect for test stimuli of different sizes. Pick only one size for this exercise. Choose one of the exercises 5 or 6 to do for you report. 1. Describe how the brightness of the circle on the right was presented by changing the intensity from trial to trial. It was presented using the method of limits, the circle would start off with a very high intensity much brighter than the standard to the left. Then it would decrease until I indicated that I no longer perceived it to be brighter. Then it would present a very low intensity, with a brightness far below than that of the standard, and it would increase gradually until I no longer perceived it to be a lower brightness than that of the standard. 2. Do you think there might be a way to change the intensity on the right so that fewer trials would be enough to measure the illusion? By eliminanting the very high intensity sample, and the very low intensity sample, we can reduce successive contrast, which occurs when the perception of currently viewed stimuli is modulated by previously viewed stimuli. 3. Present your results and describe what they say about the effect of the background on perception of the circles. Spot size Medium Standard: 127 PSE: 116.3 % of error: 8% My error percentage may be relatively low, as I have seen very recently this illusion in both human vision and computer vision, and my training will change the effect of the illusion. But even having previous knowledge of how it works, my visual system still perceives a difference in brightnessdue to a change in the surrounding area.

4. Is there any theory which explains this property of Human Vision? Lateral Inhibtion: Lateral inhibition is transmitted across the retina and occurs when stimulated neurons sends lateral signals to neighbouring neurons thereby inhibiting them. This can cause perceptual effects, simultaneous contrast is one of these effects. However there are some illusions that seem to contradict this theory, like White's illusion (White, 1981). Another theory proposed is called belongingness. And it states that an area's appearance is influenced by the part of the surroundings to which the area appears to belong. 5. How did artists use this property of Human Vision to express themselves? Van Gogh used complementary, contrasting colors and paired them together in many of his paintings. The pleasant sensation that these colors evoke is due to simultaneous contrast, and how they affect each other by being adjacent to one another.

Measurement fluctuation and error (1.3) In the method of adjustment demonstrated in this exercise, the observer manipulates the stimulus. The observer adjusts the magnitude of the stimulus until it is detected, or is no longer detected, or is perceived to be equal to another stimulus, depending on the threshold of interest. This might seem to be a more direct and more accurate way of obtaining information about perception. However, this exercise demonstrates that even such a direct measurement is prone to error and variability. Use your cursor to adjust the red triangle until it appears to be the same size as the blue triangle. When you are satisfied that the two triangles are the same size, click on Result. After recording your result for a trial, click on Next trial and repeat the procedure. You can run as many as 50 trials, but can stop at any time to plot your data (but run at least 10 trials). Click on Plot data to view a frequency distribution of your responses. Note the pattern of your responses. Results & discussion 1. Summarize your results: number of trials, sum of errors, low estimate of area of blue triangle, high estimate of area of blue triangle. Number of trials = 30 Sum of errors = -53 Low estimate of area of blue triangle = 950 High estimate of area of blue triangle = 1033


Did your errors tend to decrease in magnitude as you continued to make your estimates? Do you think the observed change reflects a change in perception, or a change in how the task is performed?
AREA 983 1033 1008 1025 1000 1033 992 1033 1000 983 975 1000 983 1017 1000 983 992 1008 1017 975 967 983 1008 1033 1025 958 958 1025 1000 950 Error -17 33 8 25 0 33 -8 33 0 -17 -25 0 -17 17 0 -17 -8 8 17 -25 -33 -17 8 33 25 -42 -42 25 0 -50

Towards the end the magnitude of my errors increased. This was definelty not due to a change in perception, but more likely due to a psychological error in sensory testing on my part.

3. What does this demonstration illustrate? This is a disadvantage of the method of adjustment, it can have errors due to expectation (where subjects rate samples according to their expectation based on previous knowledge of the product information) and errors of habituation. Adjustment and PSE (1.4) The point of subjective equality (PSE) is the stimulus value at which a comparison stimulus is perceived to be equal to some standard stimulus. As you might suspect, given that there is a special measurement for this, observers do not always perceive two stimuli as equal, even when they are equal. Sometimes the observers perceptual system is not adequate to discriminate small differences. Sometimes the context in which the stimulus is presented will influence perception, as in many geometric illusions of size. The method of adjustment is used again in this exercise. Instead of the size of a triangle, however, you will work with line length. Note that the length of the adjusted line begins smaller on some trials and longer on others. Use your cursor to adjust the lines length. Click on Result when you are convinced that the lines are equal in length. Click on Calculate PSE to compute the point of subjective equality, and click on Plot
data to view a graph of your data. Clear the data and repeat the sequence.

Results & discussion 1. Report your data for the 20 trials and also your PSE and mean data (length of A = 160).
Trial Lenght A Lenght B Error -8 -6 -4 2 4 -6 -5 4 -1 -5 -8 0 4 7 -1 3 -5 0 2 0

1 160 168 2 160 166 3 160 164 4 160 158 5 160 156 6 160 166 7 160 165 8 160 156 9 160 161 10 160 165 11 160 168 12 160 160 13 160 156 14 160 153 15 160 161 16 160 157 17 160 165 18 160 160 19 160 158 20 160 160 Mean Length of B (PSE) 161,2 Mean error (Length of A - PSE)


2. Why PSE is not 160? After all, it is easy to adjust lines! Even with the small distance between them, my visual system will have some moderate difficulty judging depth and length of the line. 3. Did you have more positive errors or negative errors? Explain why you think this happened. I have exactly half, the same amount of positive and negative. I think this happened because when one over estimates the size, one subconciously tries to make it smaller, rather than just trying to identify the size of the triangle like in the first trial. The same happens in the inverse, if one first has a negative error. 4. Why do you think judgments fluctuated from trial to trial? Even with the small distance that they are apart from each other, my visual system will find it difficult to accurately distinguish depth from size. As well as the fact that the same as the last exercise ocurred here, my previous knowledge influenced my decision. 5. Do you think your results might have been different if the adjustable line was on the left? My dominant eye is my left one, as it directs my pointing process. But I don't know if it would make a difference the other way around. 6. Can you make any conclusions using mean PSE? If not, what additional measure do you need to draw a conclusion? We cannot really make a conclusion with only the PSE, we must also calculate the % of error to see in what magnitude we differ from the standard. % of error: 0.75%

Just Noticeable Difference (1.6) Just noticeable difference (JND) describes what a difference threshold really is the smallest difference that may be detected. This exercise requires you to adjust stimuli until they are just noticeably different. As indicated in the exercise, this is not the typical method used to measure JND. Here, the two stimuli are initially set significantly different in one characteristic (area, length, or saturation), and you have to reduce that difference until it is just detectable. Be sure to note how the JNDs obtained for the different stimulus characteristics compare. Results & discussion 1. Report your results.

A: 2822 B: 2856 JND: 34 Length A: 87 B: 84 JND: -3 Saturation % A: 44 B: 36 JND: 8

2. Compare the JND for each task. What does this tell us about our ability to perceive area, length, and saturation? Area % of error = 1% Length % of error = 3% Saturation % % of error = 18 % It is evident that the factor with the greatest magnitude of error will be the saturation %. Hinting that maybe altering the size or length of something is more clashing to our visual system than changing its saturation and that our brain seems to emphasize more on dimensions of an object than it does on its properties of color. 3. How could this method be used to determine the point of subjective equality? The point of subjective equality will be when the subject perceives the stimulli to be the same. So the PSE will merely be the case B in all three instances, as it is in this case where the subject will express what he/she perceives to be the value of the stimulli. 4. What are the applications of JND in real life? (give one example in computer science and one example in another non-related field (e.g. marketing) ) Computer Science A project in Australia is working on Bionic Eye hardware implants, a key element will be to use Just Noticeable Difference as the principle in rendering results for visual processing. Combining this principle with the dynamic range constraint in the eye, they can to ensure critical information surviving during visual processing. Sales & Marketing A very simple and easy to understand concept is a sale. Will customers react to a 10% discount off the original product or a 50% discount. This will depend on the product, a bottle of soda will not have the same effect as an automobile. This can be determined with Just Noticeable Difference.

WEBERs law and WEBER fraction (1.7) When WEBER obtained measurements of the JND for stimuli of many different weights, he found that the JND was not the same for all weights. Heavier weights did not yield the same JND as lighter weights. This relationship was not random, however. WEBER found that the JND was constant if represented as a proportion of the standard stimulus, a WEBER fraction. This is WEBERs law. Click on each weight to plot JND/standard weight for each standard weight. Be sure to note the characteristics of the resulting psychophysical function.

Results & discussion 1. Describe the psychophysical function plotted in this exercise. What can be concluded from this function?

The function is detailing that the Just Noticeable Difference will not vary according to the amount of weight of the sample or the standard, but according to the ratio of weight between the two. If the weight in the standard becomes larger, the weight of the sample must grow proportionally to be detected. 2. According to this exercise, what is the WEBER fraction for weight? If the WEBER fraction for judgments of pressure is approximately 0.14, are people more sensitive to differences in weight or pressure? Why do you come to this conclusion? For weight it will be 0.02. People will be more sensitive to changes in weight, as it takes a 14% change in the stimulus of pressure to be noticed, versus only a 2% change in the stimulus of weight to be noticed.

3. According to Webers Law, explain why you cant see the stars during the day. The Webers constant for light intensity is 0.08 (Some mathematics and physics may help!)
A Weber fraction of 0.08 means that subjects can reliably detect an 8% change in stimulus intensity. There are 4 pi steradians (square radians) on the surface of a sphere regardless of the radius. The power is always the same per solid angle, but as the sphere is made larger, the power per unit area (not angle) diminishes according to the inverse square law. Radiant intensity is the power that is measured for any given solid angle. This means that it does not diminish with distance. The Sun puts out 3.86 x 1026 watts, so dividing by 4 pi, we get about 3 x 1025 watts per steradin, regardless of distance. Stars vary in intensity but most of them will be 1/10 6 that of the sun. Giving you 0.003 more or less. Which is greatly below the minimum detectable intensity when the sun is shining.

4. Explain mathematically how to find Webers fraction for electric shock, line length and brightness having the following figure, which indicates the relationship between the magnitude of stimuli and the perceived (psychological) magnitude;.

If Weber's Law holds, matching just noticeable distances across continua generates a power law relation.

P = KS
where: P is the perceived magnitude K is a constant S is the physical magnitude of the stimulus parameter being investigated n is an exponent (power) If n = 1 then doubling physical intensity doubles perceived intensity. Line length If n < 1 then doubling physical intensity less than doubles perceived intensity. Brightness If n > 1 then doubling physical intensity more than doubles perceived intensity. Electric shock Once we have

P we can calculate the just noticeable difference with P / S. Then we consider I/I = K

S as I.

where: I is the JND; I is the reference stimulus; K is a constant, the Weber fraction