A Neuromorphic Model for Achromatic and Chromatic Surface Representation of Natural Images
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This study develops a neuromorphic model of human lightness perception that is inspired by how the mammalian visual system is designed for this function. It is known that biological visual representations can adapt to a billion-fold change in luminance. How such a system determines absolute lightness under varying illumination conditions to generate a consistent interpretation of surface lightness remains an unsolved problem. Such a process, called "anchoring" of lightness, has properties including articulation, insulation, configuration, and area effects. The model quantitatively simulates such psychophysical lightness data, as well as other data such as discounting the illuminant, the double brilliant illusion, and lightness constancy and contrast effects. The model retina embodies gain control at retinal photoreceptors, and spatial contrast adaptation at the negative feedback circuit between mechanisms that model the inner segment of photoreceptors and interacting horizontal cells. The model can thereby adjust its sensitivity to input intensities ranging from dim moonlight to dazzling sunlight. A new anchoring mechanism, called the Blurred-Highest-Luminance-As-White (BHLAW) rule, helps simulate how surface lightness becomes sensitive to the spatial scale of objects in a scene. The model is also able to process natural color images under variable lighting conditions, and is compared with the popular RETINEX model.