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Psychophysical study of image orientation perception

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

The experiment reported here investigates the perception of orientation of color photographic images. A collection of 1000 images (mix of professional photos and consumer snapshots) was used in this study. Each image was examined by at least five observers and shown at varying resolutions. At each resolution, observers were asked to indicate the image orientation, the level of confidence, and the cues they used to make the decision. The results show that for typical images, accuracy is close to 98% when using all available semantic cues from high-resolution images, and 84% when using only low-level vision features and coarse semantics from thumbnails. The accuracy by human observers suggests an upper bound for the performance of an automatic system. In addition, the use of a large, carefully chosen image set that spans the 'photo space' (in terms of occasions and subject matter) and extensive interaction with the human observers reveals cues used by humans at various image resolutions: sky and people are the most useful and reliable among a number of important semantic cues.


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