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2002


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Real-Time Statistical Learning for Oculomotor Control and Visuomotor Coordination

Vijayakumar, S., Souza, A., Peters, J., Conradt, J., Rutkowski, T., Ijspeert, A., Nakanishi, J., Inoue, M., Shibata, T., Wiryo, A., Itti, L., Amari, S., Schaal, S.

(Editors: Becker, S. , S. Thrun, K. Obermayer), Sixteenth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), December 2002 (poster)

Web [BibTex]

2002

Web [BibTex]


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Surface-slant-from-texture discrimination: Effects of slant level and texture type

Rosas, P., Wichmann, F., Wagemans, J.

Journal of Vision, 2(7):300, Second Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), November 2002 (poster)

Abstract
The problem of surface-slant-from-texture was studied psychophysically by measuring the performances of five human subjects in a slant-discrimination task with a number of different types of textures: uniform lattices, randomly displaced lattices, polka dots, Voronoi tessellations, orthogonal sinusoidal plaid patterns, fractal or 1/f noise, “coherent” noise and a “diffusion-based” texture (leopard skin-like). The results show: (1) Improving performance with larger slants for all textures. (2) A “non-symmetrical” performance around a particular slant characterized by a psychometric function that is steeper in the direction of the more slanted orientation. (3) For sufficiently large slants (66 deg) there are no major differences in performance between any of the different textures. (4) For slants at 26, 37 and 53 degrees, however, there are marked differences between the different textures. (5) The observed differences in performance across textures for slants up to 53 degrees are systematic within subjects, and nearly so across them. This allows a rank-order of textures to be formed according to their “helpfulness” — that is, how easy the discrimination task is when a particular texture is mapped on the surface. Polka dots tended to allow the best slant discrimination performance, noise patterns the worst up to the large slant of 66 degrees at which performance was almost independent of the particular texture chosen. Finally, our large number of 2AFC trials (approximately 2800 trials per texture across subjects) and associated tight confidence intervals may enable us to find out about which statistical properties of the textures could be responsible for surface-slant-from-texture estimation, with the ultimate goal of being able to predict observer performance for any arbitrary texture.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Modelling Contrast Transfer in Spatial Vision

Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 2(10):7, Second Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), November 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Much of our information about spatial vision comes from detection experiments involving low-contrast stimuli. Contrast discrimination experiments provide one way to explore the visual system's response to stimuli of higher contrast, the results of which allow different models of contrast processing (e.g. energy versus gain-control models) to be critically assessed (Wichmann & Henning, 1999). Studies of detection and discrimination using pulse train stimuli in noise, on the other hand, make predictions about the number, position and properties of noise sources within the processing stream (Henning, Bird & Wichmann, 2002). Here I report modelling results combining data from both sinusoidal and pulse train experiments in and without noise to arrive at a more tightly constrained model of early spatial vision.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Pulse train detection and discrimination in pink noise

Henning, G., Wichmann, F., Bird, C.

Journal of Vision, 2(7):229, Second Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), November 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Much of our information about spatial vision comes from detection experiments involving low-contrast stimuli. Contrast discrimination experiments provide one way to explore the visual system's response to stimuli of higher contrast. We explored both detection and contrast discrimination performance with sinusoidal and "pulse-train" (or line) gratings. Both types of grating had a fundamental spatial frequency of 2.09-c/deg but the pulse-train, ideally, contains, in addition to its fundamental component, all the harmonics of the fundamental. Although the 2.09-c/deg pulse-train produced on the display was measured and shown to contain at least 8 harmonics at equal contrast, it was no more detectable than its most detectable component; no benefit from having additional information at the harmonics was measurable. The addition of broadband "pink" noise, designed to equalize the detectability of the components of the pulse train, made it about a factor of four more detectable than any of its components. However, in contrast-discrimination experiments, with an in-phase pedestal or masking grating of the same form and phase as the signal and 15% contrast, the noise did not improve the discrimination performance of the pulse train relative to that of its sinusoidal components. In contrast, a 2.09-c/deg "super train," constructed to have 8 equally detectable harmonics, was a factor of five more detectable than any of its components. We discuss the implications of these observations for models of early vision in particular the implications for possible sources of internal noise.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Phase information in the recognition of natural images

Braun, D., Wichmann, F., Gegenfurtner, K.

Perception, 31(ECVP Abstract Supplement):133, 25th European Conference on Visual Perception, August 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Fourier phase plays an important role in determining global image structure. For example, when the phase spectrum of an image of a flower is swapped with that of a tank, we usually perceive a tank, even though the amplitude spectrum is still that of the flower. Similarly, when the phase spectrum of an image is randomly swapped across frequencies, that is its Fourier energy is randomly distributed over the image, the resulting image becomes impossible to recognise. Our goal was to evaluate the effect of phase manipulations in a quantitative manner. Subjects viewed two images of natural scenes, one of which contained an animal (the target) embedded in the background. The spectra of the images were manipulated by adding random phase noise at each frequency. The phase noise was the independent variable, uniformly distributed between 0° and ±180°. Subjects were remarkably resistant to phase noise. Even with ±120° noise, subjects were still 75% correct. The proportion of correct answers closely followed the correlation between original and noise-distorted images. Thus it appears as if it was not the global phase information per se that determines our percept of natural images, but rather the effect of phase on local image features.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Detection and discrimination in pink noise

Wichmann, F., Henning, G.

5, pages: 100, 5. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Much of our information about early spatial vision comes from detection experiments involving low-contrast stimuli, which are not, perhaps, particularly "natural" stimuli. Contrast discrimination experiments provide one way to explore the visual system's response to stimuli of higher contrast whilst keeping the number of unknown parameters comparatively small. We explored both detection and contrast discrimination performance with sinusoidal and "pulse-train" (or line) gratings. Both types of grating had a fundamental spatial frequency of 2.09-c/deg but the pulse-train, ideally, contains, in addition to its fundamental component, all the harmonics of the fundamental. Although the 2.09-c/deg pulse-train produced on our display was measured using a high-performance digital camera (Photometrics) and shown to contain at least 8 harmonics at equal contrast, it was no more detectable than its most detectable component; no benefit from having additional information at the harmonics was measurable. The addition of broadband 1-D "pink" noise made it about a factor of four more detectable than any of its components. However, in contrast-discrimination experiments, with an in-phase pedestal or masking grating of the same form and phase as the signal and 15% contrast, the noise did not improve the discrimination performance of the pulse train relative to that of its sinusoidal components. We discuss the implications of these observations for models of early vision in particular the implications for possible sources of internal noise.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Application of Monte Carlo Methods to Psychometric Function Fitting

Wichmann, F.

Proceedings of the 33rd European Conference on Mathematical Psychology, pages: 44, 2002 (poster)

Abstract
The psychometric function relates an observer's performance to an independent variable, usually some physical quantity of a stimulus in a psychophysical task. Here I describe methods to (1) fitting psychometric functions, (2) assessing goodness-of-fit, and (3) providing confidence intervals for the function's parameters and other estimates derived from them. First I describe a constrained maximum-likelihood method for parameter estimation. Using Monte-Carlo simulations I demonstrate that it is important to have a fitting method that takes stimulus-independent errors (or "lapses") into account. Second, a number of goodness-of-fit tests are introduced. Because psychophysical data sets are usually rather small I advocate the use of Monte Carlo resampling techniques that do not rely on asymptotic theory for goodness-of-fit assessment. Third, a parametric bootstrap is employed to estimate the variability of fitted parameters and derived quantities such as thresholds and slopes. I describe how the bootstrap bridging assumption, on which the validity of the procedure depends, can be tested without incurring too high a cost in computation time. Finally I describe how the methods can be extended to test hypotheses concerning the form and shape of several psychometric functions. Software describing the methods is available (http://www.bootstrap-software.com/psignifit/), as well as articles describing the methods in detail (Wichmann&Hill, Perception&Psychophysics, 2001a,b).

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Optimal linear estimation of self-motion - a real-world test of a model of fly tangential neurons

Franz, MO.

SAB 02 Workshop, Robotics as theoretical biology, 7th meeting of the International Society for Simulation of Adaptive Behaviour (SAB), (Editors: Prescott, T.; Webb, B.), 2002 (poster)

Abstract
The tangential neurons in the fly brain are sensitive to the typical optic flow patterns generated during self-motion (see example in Fig.1). We examine whether a simplified linear model of these neurons can be used to estimate self-motion from the optic flow. We present a theory for the construction of an optimal linear estimator incorporating prior knowledge both about the distance distribution of the environment, and about the noise and self-motion statistics of the sensor. The optimal estimator is tested on a gantry carrying an omnidirectional vision sensor that can be moved along three translational and one rotational degree of freedom. The experiments indicate that the proposed approach yields accurate results for rotation estimates, independently of the current translation and scene layout. Translation estimates, however, turned out to be sensitive to simultaneous rotation and to the particular distance distribution of the scene. The gantry experiments confirm that the receptive field organization of the tangential neurons allows them, as an ensemble, to extract self-motion from the optic flow.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]

2000


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Contrast discrimination using periodic pulse trains

Wichmann, F., Henning, G.

pages: 74, 3. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2000 (poster)

Abstract
Understanding contrast transduction is essential for understanding spatial vision. Previous research (Wichmann et al. 1998; Wichmann, 1999; Henning and Wichmann, 1999) has demonstrated the importance of high contrasts to distinguish between alternative models of contrast discrimination. However, the modulation transfer function of the eye imposes large contrast losses on stimuli, particularly for stimuli of high spatial frequency, making high retinal contrasts difficult to obtain using sinusoidal gratings. Standard 2AFC contrast discrimination experiments were conducted using periodic pulse trains as stimuli. Given our Mitsubishi display we achieve stimuli with up to 160% contrast at the fundamental frequency. The shape of the threshold versus (pedestal) contrast (TvC) curve using pulse trains shows the characteristic dipper shape, i.e. contrast discrimination is sometimes “easier” than detection. The rising part of the TvC function has the same slope as that measured for contrast discrimination using sinusoidal gratings of the same frequency as the fundamental. Periodic pulse trains offer the possibility to explore the visual system’s properties using high retinal contrasts. Thus they might prove useful in tasks other than contrast discrimination. Second, at least for high spatial frequencies (8 c/deg) it appears that contrast discrimination using sinusoids and periodic pulse trains results in virtually identical TvC functions, indicating a lack of probability summation. Further implications of these results are discussed.

Web [BibTex]

2000

Web [BibTex]


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Subliminale Darbietung verkehrsrelevanter Information in Kraftfahrzeugen

Staedtgen, M., Hahn, S., Franz, MO., Spitzer, M.

pages: 98, (Editors: H.H. Bülthoff, K.R. Gegenfurtner, H.A. Mallot), 3. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2000 (poster)

Abstract
Durch moderne Bildverarbeitungstechnologien ist es m{\"o}glich, in Kraftfahrzeugen bestimmte kritische Verkehrssituationen automatisch zu erkennen und den Fahrer zu warnen bzw. zu informieren. Ein Problem ist dabei die Darbietung der Ergebnisse, die den Fahrer m{\"o}glichst wenig belasten und seine Aufmerksamkeit nicht durch zus{\"a}tzliche Warnleuchten oder akustische Signale vom Verkehrsgeschehen ablenken soll. In einer Reihe von Experimenten wurde deshalb untersucht, ob subliminal dargebotene, das heißt nicht bewußt wahrgenommene, verkehrsrelevante Informationen verhaltenswirksam werden und zur Informations{\"u}bermittlung an den Fahrer genutzt werden k{\"o}nnen. In einem Experiment zur semantischen Bahnung konnte mit Hilfe einer lexikalischen Entscheidungsaufgabe gezeigt werden, daß auf den Straßenverkehr bezogene Worte schneller verarbeitet werden, wenn vorher ein damit in Zusammenhang stehendes Bild eines Verkehrsschildes subliminal pr{\"a}sentiert wurde. Auch bei parafovealer Darbietung der subliminalen Stimuli wurde eine Beschleunigung erzielt. In einer visuellen Suchaufgabe wurden in Bildern realer Verkehrssituationen Verkehrszeichen schneller entdeckt, wenn das Bild des Verkehrszeichens vorher subliminal dargeboten wurde. In beiden Experimenten betrug die Pr{\"a}sentationszeit f{\"u}r die Hinweisreize 17 ms, zus{\"a}tzlich wurde durch Vorw{\"a}rts- und R{\"u}ckw{\"a}rtsmaskierung die bewußteWahrnehmung verhindert. Diese Laboruntersuchungen zeigten, daß sich auch im Kontext des Straßenverkehrs Beschleunigungen der Informationsverarbeitung durch subliminal dargebotene Stimuli erreichen lassen. In einem dritten Experiment wurde die Darbietung eines subliminalen Hinweisreizes auf die Reaktionszeit beim Bremsen in einem realen Fahrversuch untersucht. Die Versuchspersonen (n=17) sollten so schnell wie m{\"o}glich bremsen, wenn die Bremsleuchten eines im Abstand von 12-15 m voran fahrenden Fahrzeuges aufleuchteten. In 50 von insgesamt 100 Durchg{\"a}ngen wurde ein subliminaler Stimulus (zwei rote Punkte mit einem Zentimeter Durchmesser und zehn Zentimeter Abstand) 150 ms vor Aufleuchten der Bremslichter pr{\"a}sentiert. Die Darbietung erfolgte durch ein im Auto an Stelle des Tachometers integriertes TFT-LCD Display. Im Vergleich zur Reaktion ohne subliminalen Stimulus verk{\"u}rzte sich die Reaktionszeit dadurch signifikant um 51 ms. In den beschriebenen Experimenten konnte gezeigt werden, daß die subliminale Darbietung verkehrsrelevanter Information auch in Kraftfahrzeugen verhaltenswirksam werden kann. In Zukunft k{\"o}nnte durch die Kombination der online-Bildverarbeitung im Kraftfahrzeug mit subliminaler Darbietung der Ergebnisse eine Erh{\"o}hung der Verkehrssicherheit und des Komforts erreicht werden.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]

1997


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Masking by plaid patterns is not explained by adaptation, simple contrast gain-control or distortion products

Wichmann, F., Tollin, D.

Investigative Ophthamology and Visual Science, 38 (4), pages: S631, 1997 (poster)

[BibTex]

1997

[BibTex]


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Masking by plaid patterns: spatial frequency tuning and contrast dependency

Wichmann, F., Tollin, D.

OSA Conference Program, pages: 97, 1997 (poster)

Abstract
The detectability of horizontally orientated sinusoidal signals at different spatial-frequencies was measured in standard 2AFC - tasks in the presence of two-component plaid patterns of different orientation and contrast. The shape of the resulting masking surface provides insight into, and constrains models of, the underlying masking mechanisms.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

1996


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Aktives Erwerben eines Ansichtsgraphen zur diskreten Repräsentation offener Umwelten.

Franz, M., Schölkopf, B., Mallot, H., Bülthoff, H.

Fortschritte der K{\"u}nstlichen Intelligenz, pages: 138-147, (Editors: M. Thielscher and S.-E. Bornscheuer), 1996 (poster)

PDF PostScript [BibTex]

1996

PDF PostScript [BibTex]


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Does motion-blur facilitate motion detection ?

Wichmann, F., Henning, G.

OSA Conference Program, pages: S127, 1996 (poster)

Abstract
Retinal-image motion induces the perceptual loss of high spatial-frequency content - motion blur - that affects broadband stimuli. The relative detectability of motion blur and motion itself, measured in 2-AFC experiments, shows that, although the blur associated with motion can be detected, motion itself is the more effective cue.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]