Neural Dynamics of 3-D Surface Perception: Figure-Ground Separation and Lightness Perception
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This article develops the FACADE theory of three-dimensional (3-D) vision to simulate data concerning how two-dimensional (2-D) pictures give rise to 3-D percepts of occluded and occluding surfaces. The theory suggests how geometrical and contrastive properties of an image can either cooperate or compete when forming the boundary and surface representations that subserve conscious visual percepts. Spatially long-range cooperation and short-range competition work together to separate boundaries of occluding ligures from their occluded neighbors, thereby providing sensitivity to T-junctions without the need to assume that T-junction "detectors" exist. Both boundary and surface representations of occluded objects may be amodaly completed, while the surface representations of unoccluded objects become visible through modal processes. Computer simulations include Bregman-Kanizsa figure-ground separation, Kanizsa stratification, and various lightness percepts, including the Munker-White, Benary cross, and checkerboard percepts.