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Observers are consistent when rating image conspicuity

By Moran Cerf, Daniel R. Cleary, Robert J. Peters, Wolfgang Einhäuser and Christof Koch


Human perception of an image’s conspicuity depends on the stimulus itself and the observer’s semantic interpretation. We investigated the relative contribution of the former, sensory-driven, component. Participants viewed sequences of images from five different classes—fractals, overhead satellite imagery, grayscale and colored natural scenes, and magazine covers—and graded each numerically according to its perceived conspicuity. We found significant consistency in this rating within and between observers for all image categories. In a subsequent recognition memory test, performance was significantly above chance for all categories, with the weakest memory for satellite imagery, and reaching near ceiling for magazine covers. When repeating the experiment after one year, ratings remained consistent within each observer and category, despite the absence of explicit scene memory. Our findings suggest that the rating of image conspicuity is driven by image-immanent, sensory factors common to all observers

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.visres.2007.06.025
OAI identifier: oai:authors.library.caltech.edu:40643
Provided by: Caltech Authors

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