Journal article Open Access

The Place of White in a World of Grays: A Double Anchoring Theory of Lightness Perception

Bressan, Paola

The specific gray shades in a visual scene can be derived from relative luminance values only when an anchoring rule is followed. The double-anchoring theory I propose in this article, as a development of the anchoring theory of Gilchrist et al. (1999), assumes that any given region (a) belongs to one or more frameworks, created by Gestalt grouping principles, and (b) is independently anchored, within each framework, to both the highest luminance and the surround luminance. The region's final lightness is a weighted average of the values computed, relative to both anchors, in all frameworks. The new model accounts not only for all lightness illusions that are qualitatively explained by the anchoring theory but also for a number of additional effects, and it does so quantitatively, with the support of mathematical simulations.

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