A Psychophysical Study of the Helmholtz Principle

Part of the Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics book series (IAM, volume 34)

Is our perception driven by the Helmholtz principle? In this chapter, we describe two psycho-visual setups. The experiments were designed to test the ability of a subject to detect the presence of certain gestalts in an image. The first psycho-visual experiment tests human ability to detect dark or bright squares in a white noise image (Section 13.2). The second experiment tests alignment perception (Section 13.3).

For each experiment, the responses of the tested subjects were measured as a function of two parameters, namely the size of the gestalt to be detected and theamount of noise. As we will see, the match between perception thresholds andtheoretical ones predicted by the Helmholtz principle is good. This is checked by comparing the theoretical iso-meaningfulness curves in parameter space with the observed ones.


Synthetic Image Perception Threshold Threshold Curve Ideal Observer Psychophysical Study 
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© Springer 2008

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