Phenomenal transparency reflects a process which makes it possible to recover the structure and lightness of overlapping objects from a fragmented image. This process was investigated by the visual-search paradigm. In three experiments, observers searched for a target that consisted of gray patches among a variable number of distractors and the search efficiency was assessed. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that the search efficiency was greatly improved when the target was distinctive with regard to structure, based on transparency. Experiment 3 showed that the search efficiency was impaired when a target was not distinctive with regard to lightness (ie perceived reflectance), based on transparency. These results suggest that the shape and reflectance of overlapping objects when accompanied by transparency can be calculated in parallel across the visual field, and can be used as a guide for visual attention.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems
- Artificial Intelligence