Perceiving Geometry

Geometrical Illusions Explained by Natural Scene Statistics

Authors: Howe, Catherine Q., Purves, Dale

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About this book

Understanding vision, whether from a neurobiological, psychological or philosophical perspective, represents a daunting challenge that has been pursued for millennia. During at least the last few centuries, natural philosophers, and more recently vision scientists, have recognized that a fundamental problem in biological vision is that the physical sources underlying sensory stimuli are unknowable in any direct sense. In vision, because physical qualities are conflated when the 3-D world is projected onto the 2-D image plane of the retina, the provenance of light reaching the eye at any moment is inevitably uncertain. This quandary is referred to as the inverse optics problem. The relationship of the real world and the information conveyed to the brain by light present a profound problem. Successful behavior in a complex and potentially hostile environment clearly depends on responding appropriately to the sources of visual stimuli rather than to the physical characteristics of the stimuli as such. If the retinal images generated by light cannot specify the underlying reality an observer must deal with, how then does the visual system produce behavior that is generally successful?

Perceiving Geometry considers the evidence that, with respect to the perception of geometry, the human visual system solves this problem by incorporating past human experience of what retinal images have typically corresponded to in the real world. This empirical strategy, which is documented by extensive analyses of scene geometry, explains many otherwise puzzling aspects of what we see (i.e., the so-called "geometrical illusions"), providing the best indication to date as to how perceptions of the geometrical aspects of the world are actually generated by the brain.

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-25488-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $149.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-387-25487-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $149.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-3800-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Perceiving Geometry
Book Subtitle
Geometrical Illusions Explained by Natural Scene Statistics
Authors
Copyright
2005
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag US
eBook ISBN
978-0-387-25488-3
DOI
10.1007/b135453
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-387-25487-6
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4419-3800-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 126
Number of Illustrations and Tables
43 b/w illustrations, 10 illustrations in colour
Topics