A probabilistic explanation of brightness scaling.


Journal Article

The perceptions of lightness or brightness elicited by a visual target are linked to its luminance by a nonlinear function that varies according to the physical characteristics of the target and the background on which it is presented. Although no generally accepted explanation of this scaling relationship exists, it has long been considered a byproduct of low- or mid-level visual processing. Here we examine the possibility that brightness scaling is actually the signature of a biological strategy for dealing with inevitably ambiguous visual stimuli, in which percepts of lightness/brightness are determined by the probabilistic relationship between luminances in the image plane and their possible real-world sources.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Nundy, S; Purves, D

Published Date

  • October 18, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 99 / 22

Start / End Page

  • 14482 - 14487

PubMed ID

  • 12388786

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12388786

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1091-6490

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.172520399


  • eng