Luminance cues constrain chromatic blur discrimination in natural scene stimuli

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Sharman, Rebecca J. ; McGraw, Paul V. ; Peirce, Jonathan W. (2013)
  • Publisher: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1167/13.4.14
  • Subject: C800 Psychology

Introducing blur into the color components of a natural scene has very little effect on its percept, whereas blur introduced into the luminance component is very noticeable. Here we quantify the dominance of luminance information in blur detection and examine a number of potential causes. We show that the interaction between chromatic and luminance information is not explained by reduced acuity or spatial resolution limitations for chromatic cues, the effective contrast of the luminance cue, or chromatic and achromatic statistical regularities in the images. Regardless of the quality of chromatic information, the visual system gives primacy to luminance signals when determining edge location. In natural viewing, luminance information appears to be specialized for detecting object boundaries while chromatic information may be used to determine surface properties.
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