Simultaneous Perception of Parallel Streams of Visual Data

Simultaneous Perception of Parallel Streams of Visual Data

Marcin Brzezicki (Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8142-2.ch003
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Abstract

This chapter presents a study of the perceptual processes that condition the parallel processing of visual data and thus could become a design tool to manage the transfer of information. This allows the designers to analyze and consciously plan this process, taking into account the perceptual mechanisms involved. The chapter combines knowledge from the fields of cognitive science, geometrical optics, graphic design, and—last but not least—it utilizes the author's experience in architecture gained from the study of transparency perception.
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4. Visual Information Processing

4.1. Data Reception Phase

Visual system relies upon the changes in luminance and its particular configurations, caused by light reflection or absorption by the object. The images of the objects surrounding the observer – the visual data – are projected onto the retina via the optical system of the eye. The photons of light reaching the retina stimulate the retinal receptors, which – through complex electrochemical processes – turn them into electrical signals. Direct contact stimulates the photosensitive retina cells. The light stimulus (optical energy) is thus transformed into a sequence of electrical impulses, which are further processed in the appropriate structures of the brain. Retinal image (real, reduced, inverted) is further processed by the human visual system at three different levels: low-, mid-, and high.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Perceptual Scission: A mental process that derives a sensation of depth from an entirely flat picture (image).

Navon’s Figures: Figures with conflicting content and form created by the cognitive researcher David Navon to determine experimentally the precedence of perceived information e.g. character “A” made up of many adjoined “R” characters.

Light Field: A function describing a amount and direction of light in every point in the space. Michael Faraday is supposed to coin the term, as an analogy to magnetic field.

Lumionus Flux: A photometric measure describing the perceived power of light.

Levels of Information Processing: The steps of the sensory input analysis (information processing). The division into levels stems not only from the individual tasks carried out within each stage, but also from the varying anatomical spatial location of the regions processing the stimuli within the brain.

Principles of Grouping: Principles that govern figure-ground organization necessary for the recognition to occur e.g. proximity, similarity, good continuation, closure. Determined experimentally by the research on the object recognition through vision in 1920s.

Perceptual Transparency: An impression of transparency based on the pictorial arrangement of regions of various luminance and color. No real light-transmitting object is present in the scene.

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