Functional recursion of orientation cues in figure-ground separation.

TitleFunctional recursion of orientation cues in figure-ground separation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsVictor JD, Conte MM
JournalVision Res
Date Published2022 Jun 09

Visual texture is an important cue to figure-ground organization. While processing of texture differences is a prerequisite for the use of this cue to extract figure-ground organization, these stages are distinct processes. One potential indicator of this distinction is the possibility that texture statistics play a different role in the figure vs. in the ground. To determine whether this is the case, we probed figure-ground processing with a family of local image statistics that specified textures that varied in the strength and spatial scale of structure, and the extent to which features are oriented. For image statistics that generated approximately isotropic textures, the threshold for identification of figure-ground structure was determined by the difference in correlation strength in figure vs. ground, independent of whether the correlations were present in figure, ground, or both. However, for image statistics with strong orientation content, thresholds were up to two times higher for correlations in the ground, vs. the figure. This held equally for texture-defined objects with convex or concave boundaries, indicating that these threshold differences are driven by border ownership, not boundary shape. Similar threshold differences were found for presentation times ranging from 125 to 500 ms. These findings identify a qualitative difference in how texture is used for figure-ground analysis, vs. texture discrimination. Additionally, it reveals a functional recursion: texture differences are needed to identify tentative boundaries and consequent scene organization into figure and ground, but then scene organization modifies sensitivity to texture differences according to the figure-ground assignment.

Alternate JournalVision Res
PubMed ID35691090