22 April 1996 Contrast of slightly complex patterns: computing the perceived contrast of Gabor patches
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The local contrast in an image may be approximated by the contrast of a Gabor patch of varying phase and bandwidth. In a search for a metric for such local contrast, perceived (apparent) contrast, as indicated by matching of such patterns, were compared here to the physical contrast calculated by a number of methods. The 2 cycles/deg 1-octave Gabor patch stimuli of different phases were presented side by side separated by 4 degrees. During each session the subjects (n equals 5) were adapted to the average luminance, and four different contrast levels (0.1, 0.3, 0.6, and 0.8) were randomly interleaved. The task was repeated at four mean luminance levels between 0.75 and 37.5 cd/m2. The subject's task was to indicate which of the two patterns was lower in contrast. Equal apparent contrast was determined by fitting a psychometric function to the data from 40 to 70 presentations. There was no effect of mean luminance on the subjects settings. The matching results rejected the hypothesis that either the Michelson formula or the King-Smith & Kulikowski contrast (CKK equals (Lmax-Laverage)/Laverage) was used by the subjects to set the match. The use of the Nominal contrast (the Michelson contrast of the underlying sinusoid) as an estimate of apparent contrast could not be rejected. In a second experiment the apparent contrast of a 1-octave Gabor patch was matched to the apparent contrast of a 2-octave Gabor patch (of Nominal contrast of 0.1, 0.3, 0.6, 0.8) using the method of adjustment. The result of this experiment rejected the prediction of the Nominal contrast definition. The local band limited contrast measure (Peli, 1990), when used with the modifications suggested by Lubin (1995), as an estimate of apparent contrast could not be rejected by the results of either experiment. These results suggest that a computational contrast measure based on multi scale bandpass filtering is a better estimate of apparent perceived contrast than any of the other measures tested.
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Eli Peli, "Contrast of slightly complex patterns: computing the perceived contrast of Gabor patches", Proc. SPIE 2657, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging, (22 April 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.238713; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.238713

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