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Orientation variance as a quantifier of structure in texture

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

I consider how structure is derived from texture containing changes in orientation over space, and propose that multi-local orientation variance (the average orientation variance across a series of discrete images locales) is an estimate of the degree of organization that is useful both for spatial scale selection and for discriminating structure from noise. The oriented textures used in this paper are Glass patterns, which contain structure at a narrow range of scales. The effect of adding noise to Glass patterns, on a structure versus noise task (Maloney et al., 1987), is compared to discrimination based on orientation variance and template matching (i.e. having prior knowledge of the target's orientation structure). At all but very low densities, the variance model accounts well for human data. Next, both models' estimates of tolerable orientation variance are shown to be broadly consistent with human discrimination of texture from noise. However, neither model can account for subjects' lower tolerance to noise for translational patterns than other (e.g. rotational) patterns. Finally, to investigate how well these structural measures preserve local orientation discontinuities, I show that the presence of a patch of unstructured dots embedded in a Glass pattern produces a change in multi-local orientation variance that is sufficient to account for human detection (Hel Or and Zucker, 1989). Together, these data suggest that simple orientation statistics could drive a range of 'texture tasks', although the dependency of noise resistance on the pattern type (rotation, translation, etc.) remains to be accounted for.

Affiliations: 1: McGill Vision Research Unit, Department of Ophthalmology, 687 Pine Avenue West, H4-14, Montreal H3A 1A1, Quebec, Canada


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