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Perception. 2006;35(9):1185-201.

Lightness of an object under two illumination levels.

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Department of Psychology, University of Novi Sad, Stevana Musica 24, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia.


Anchoring theory (Gilchrist et al, 1999 Psychological Review 106 795-834) predicts a wide range of lightness errors, including failures of constancy in multi-illumination scenes and a long list of well-known lightness illusions seen under homogeneous illumination. Lightness values are computed both locally and globally and then averaged together. Local values are computed within a given region of homogeneous illumination. Thus, for an object that extends through two different illumination levels, anchoring theory produces two values, one for the patch in brighter illumination and one for the patch in dimmer illumination. Observers can give matches for these patches separately, but they can also give a single match for the whole object. Anchoring theory in its current form is unable to predict these object matches. We report eight experiments in which we studied the relationship between patch matches and object matches. The results show that the object match represents a compromise between the match for the patch in the field of highest illumination and the patch in the largest field of illumination. These two principles are parallel to the rules found for anchoring lightness: highest luminance rule and area rule.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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