Determinants of perceived surface transparency in two-dimensional achromatic textured patterns

Karin Petrini, Osvaldo Da Pos

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1 Citation (SciVal)


Achromatic transparency in 2-D surfaces composed of three adjacent areas, one created from the others, occurs when in the created area it is possible to see the two colours of the adjacent areas. Displays with two white and black intersecting bars were produced to verify the possibility of perceiving transparency in the intersection area when this was subdivided into a different number of white and black diamonds. By increasing the spatial frequency of the elements in the intersection area we investigated the impression of transparency, and found that (i) the impression of transparency increases up to a spatial frequency of 10 cycles deg(-1) and then levels off, (ii) there is a transition from a perception of transparency in which white and black are well discriminable to a perception in which a perceptually uniform grey is seen, (iii) the perception of transparency occurring when colours are discriminated seems consistent with Helson's area-luminance hypothesis [1964, in Adaptation Level Theory (New York: Harper & Row) pp 282-292], according to which the increase of spatial frequency determines the transition from the phenomenon of contrast to that of assimilation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-18
Number of pages16
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Analysis of Variance
  • Color Perception
  • Contrast Sensitivity
  • Humans
  • Optical Illusions
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychophysics
  • Vision, Binocular


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