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Colour contrast influences perceived shape in combined shading and texture patterns

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

The 'colour-shading effect' describes the phenomenon whereby a chromatic pattern influences perceived shape-from-shading in a luminance pattern. Specifically, the depth corrugations perceived in sinusoidal luminance gratings can be enhanced by spatially non-aligned, and suppressed by spatially aligned sinusoidal chromatic gratings. Here we examine whether colour contrast can influence perceived shape in patterns that combine shape-from-shading with shape-from-texture. Stimuli consisted of sinusoidal modulations of texture (defined by orientation), luminance and colour. When the texture and luminance modulations were suitably combined, one obtained a vivid impression of a corrugated depth surface. The addition of a colour grating to the texture-luminance combination was found to enhance the impression of depth when out-of-phase with the luminance modulation, and suppress the impression of depth when in-phase with the luminance modulation. The degree of depth enhancement and depth suppression was approximately constant across texture amplitude when measured linearly. In the absence of the luminance grating however, the colour grating had no phase-dependent affect on perceived depth. These results show that colour contrast modulates the contribution of shading to perceived shape in combined shading and texture patterns.


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