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Visual System & Resolving Ambiguities

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Question: Discuss how the visual system resolves ambiguities by making different types of assumptions.

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1. Discuss how the visual system resolves ambiguities by making different types of assumptions.

The visual system resolves ambiguities by making assumptions such as:

- Illumination from above and viewpoint from above e.g. relies on image information in addition to shading and relies on prior assumptions about the scene (Langer & Buehoff, 2001)
- That the viewpoint is from above rather than from below (Reichel and Todd 1990: cited in Langer & Buelhoff, 2001).
- That the surface is globally convex rather than globally concave e.g. prior assumptions about the scene (Johnston et al., 1992; Hill & Bruce, 1993: cited in Langer & Buelhoff, 2001).

Let's look closer at each of these assumptions through research findings and examples.

From one source:

As a case in point, when light strikes a surface, the shading pattern reflected from the surface depends on the incident light distribution, on the material of the surface, and on the three-dimensional (3-D) shape of the surface. Inferring exact shape from shading is impossible since there are infinitely many shapes, lighting conditions, and surface reflectances that can produce a given shading pattern (D'Zmura, 1991; Belhumeur et al., 1997: cited in Langer & Buelhoff, 2001).

1. To resolve these ambiguities between ...

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This solution is comprised of a detailed discussion of the visual system and how ambiguities can be resolved. This is all completed in about 830 words and includes references.

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Visual perception is complicated because our cognitive systems are not adept at analyzing visual stimuli.

Visual perception is complicated because our cognitive systems are not adept at analyzing visual stimuli. In order to resolve visual ambiguities we make unconscious assumptions that resolve the ambiguities. What is a visual ambiguity? What are some examples of visual ambiguities that you have encountered today? What types of cognitive assumptions did you make in order to solve them?

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