Observer biases in the 3D interpretation of line drawings

Vision Research
P Mamassian, Michael S Landy


Line drawings produced by contours traced on a surface can produce a vivid impression of the surface shape. The stability of this perception is notable considering that the information provided by the surface contours is quite ambiguous. We have studied the stability of line drawing perception from psychophysical and computational standpoints. For a given family of simple line drawings, human observers could perceive the drawings as depicting either an elliptic (egg-shaped) or hyperbolic (saddle-shaped) smooth surface patch. Rotation of the image along the line of sight and change in aspect ratio of the line drawing could bias the observer toward either interpretation. The results were modeled by a simple Bayesian observer that computes the probability to choose either interpretation given the information in the image and prior preferences. The model's decision rule is noncommitting: for a given input image its responses are still probabilistic, reflecting variability in the modeled observers' judgements. A good fit to the data was obtained when three observer assumptions were introduced: a preference for convex surfaces, a preference for surface contours aligned with the principal lines of curvature, and a preference for a sur...Continue Reading


Sep 1, 1992·Journal of the Optical Society of America. A, Optics and Image Science·D C Knill
Sep 4, 1992·Science·K Nakayama, S Shimojo
Jan 14, 1988·Nature·V S Ramachandran
Jan 1, 1987·Biological cybernetics·K A Stevens, A Brookes
Jan 1, 1984·Perception·J J Koenderink
Aug 1, 1996·Vision Research·P Mamassian, D Kersten
Jan 1, 1996·Perception·P MamassianD C Knill


Apr 29, 2010·Biological cybernetics·Paul A Warren, P Mamassian
Aug 1, 1998·Trends in Cognitive Sciences·P MamassianD Kersten
Oct 20, 2001·Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance·C Moore, S A Engel
Sep 2, 2010·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Peggy GerardinP Mamassian
Jul 12, 2011·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Rubén Moreno-BoteAlexandre Pouget
Jan 28, 2004·Annual Review of Psychology·D KerstenAlan Yuille
Mar 8, 2013·PLoS Computational Biology·Shaiyan KeshvariWei Ji Ma
Dec 19, 2008·PloS One·Stuart JacksonNuala Brady
Jan 5, 2002·Perception & Psychophysics·J Feldman
Aug 29, 2006·Perception & Psychophysics·Jan Vanrie, Karl Verfaillie
Dec 3, 2015·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Mark WexlerP Mamassian
Dec 17, 2015·British Journal of Psychology·Chiara LucafòLuca Tommasi
Jun 27, 2008·IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics·Sunghee KimVictoria Interrante
Jun 15, 2015·Vision Research·Baingio Pinna, Katia Deiana
May 9, 2012·Seeing and Perceiving·Daniel Goldreich, Mary A Peterson
Sep 18, 2012·Trends in Cognitive Sciences·Wei Ji Ma
May 10, 2001·Vision Research·A Li, Q Zaidi
Aug 25, 2001·Vision Research·P Mamassian, Michael S Landy
Nov 17, 2001·Vision Research·Zygmunt Pizlo
Nov 29, 2005·Vision Research·Loes C J van Dam, Raymond van Ee
Mar 17, 2006·Vision Research·Bas RokersZili Liu
Aug 13, 2005·Vision Research·Hiroshi Ishikawa, Davi Geiger
Sep 16, 2003·Vision Research·Ipek OruçMichael S Landy
Jun 1, 2005·Vision Research·Zygmunt PizloGregory Francis
Feb 14, 2006·Vision Research·Fang HouZili Liu
Jul 14, 2010·Neuropsychologia·M de Montalembert, P Mamassian
Jun 9, 2004·Vision Research·Baoxia Liu, James T Todd
Sep 23, 2000·Vision Research·B Willems, Johan Wagemans
Apr 3, 2002·Vision Research·James T Todd, Augustinus H J Oomes
May 11, 2010·Vision Research·Rebecca A Champion, Paul A Warren
Jul 16, 2008·Vision Research·P Mamassian
Jun 17, 2015·PLoS Computational Biology·Richard F MurrayAlan Yee
Oct 27, 2016·Scientific Reports·Wendy J AdamsAlexander Muryy
Jun 1, 2001·Perception·M S Langer, H H Bülthoff
Nov 26, 2010·Psychological Science·Adrien Chopin, P Mamassian
Feb 7, 2017·Scientific Reports·Xue ZhangYing Wang
Mar 17, 2017·Autism Research : Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research·Themelis KaraminisElizabeth Pellicano
Jan 11, 2001·Journal of the Optical Society of America. A, Optics, Image Science, and Vision·D C Knill
Jan 1, 2010·I-Perception·Nikolaus F Troje, Matthew McAdam
Jul 14, 2006·Perception·Nadejda Bocheva, Myron L Braunstein
Jun 23, 2011·Perception·Chetan NandakumarJitendra Malik
Sep 28, 2016·Perception·Luigi Burigana, Michele Vicovaro
Jan 20, 2017·IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence·Lena GorelickClaudia Nieuwenhuis
Oct 29, 2000·The American Journal of Gastroenterology·R E ClouseL Haroian
Jul 19, 2003·Journal of the Optical Society of America. A, Optics, Image Science, and Vision·Brian Potetz, Tai Sing Lee
Jul 19, 2003·Journal of the Optical Society of America. A, Optics, Image Science, and Vision·Raymond van EePascal Mamassian
Apr 22, 2020·Journal of Vision·Pantelis LeptourgosSophie Denève
Dec 25, 2019·Nature Neuroscience·Edgar Y WalkerAndreas S Tolias
Mar 5, 2020·Perception·Aaron Hertzmann
Dec 15, 2020·PLoS Computational Biology·Pantelis LeptourgosSophie Denève

Related Concepts

Bayesian Prediction
Depth Perception
Optical Illusions
Psychological Tests (Procedure)
Intraobserver Variation

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Neural Activity: Imaging

Imaging of neural activity in vivo has developed rapidly recently with the advancement of fluorescence microscopy, including new applications using miniaturized microscopes (miniscopes). This feed follows the progress in this growing field.

The Tendon Seed Network

Tendons are rich in the extracellular matrix and are abundant throughout the body providing essential roles including structure and mobility. The transcriptome of tendons is being compiled to understand the micro-anatomical functioning of tendons. Discover the latest research pertaining to the Tendon Seed Network here.

Myocardial Stunning

Myocardial stunning is a mechanical dysfunction that persists after reperfusion of previously ischemic tissue in the absence of irreversible damage including myocardial necrosis. Here is the latest research.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.


Incretins are metabolic hormones that stimulate a decrease in glucose levels in the blood and they have been implicated in glycemic regulation in the remission phase of type 1 diabetes. Here is the latest research.

Chromatin Regulation and Circadian Clocks

The circadian clock plays an important role in regulating transcriptional dynamics through changes in chromatin folding and remodelling. Discover the latest research on Chromatin Regulation and Circadian Clocks here.

Long COVID-19

“Long Covid-19” describes illness in patients who are reporting long-lasting effects of the SARS-CoV-19 infection, often long after they have recovered from acute Covid-19. Ongoing health issues often reported include low exercise tolerance and breathing difficulties, chronic tiredness, and mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. This feed follows the latest research into Long Covid.

Spatio-Temporal Regulation of DNA Repair

DNA repair is a complex process regulated by several different classes of enzymes, including ligases, endonucleases, and polymerases. This feed focuses on the spatial and temporal regulation that accompanies DNA damage signaling and repair enzymes and processes.