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So, let's take a look at

a specific example of the way in


which this perceptual weirdness
in geometry can be explained.
And the example I want to use is
a very simple one, the T effect, or
the inverted T effect.
And the phenomenon is that the red line,
and the black line,
are physically identical in length.
And you can take a ruler and
measure these, and the vertical line
looks longer than the horizontal line.
And this is sometimes called
the Lincoln hat effect because, you'll
see the same thing with the dimensions
of Lincoln's famous stovepipe hat here,
gives it a little more pizzazz if
you call it the Lincoln hat effect.
So, people have repeatedly shown,
over the last 150 years,
that the length that we attribute to a
line depends very much on its orientation.
So, here in the left panel are a series of
lines, they're all physically identical.
And the kind of presentation
that's made to normal subjects, a,
asking them to report the relative
lengths that they see
entails a series of lines at
different orientations like this.
And so here is the horizontal line,
the vertical line,
this is the reasonable oblique lines.
And the results of testing people
in that way, having them adjust
the lines of different orientations
to be apparent same length as
the horizontal is shown
here in this panel.
And [COUGH] what you see here is
that on this axis is the perceived
length that people report by
adjusting the line to the horizontal,
using the horizontal as a standard.
And here is the, along this axis
is the orientation of the line,
zero or 180 being horizontal,
90 being a vertical line.
So, this would be a 90 degree line.
And this the zero, or 180 degree line.
And you'll see that people
report a substantial variation,
up to about a little bit more than
10% of the length of the line,
as the orientation is varied from
horizontal, through oblique,
to vertical, and
back again to the horizontal at 180.
And what's remarkable about

this is that it's not


just that the vertical line looks
longer than the horizontal line,
as we show it at sort of
the standard Lincoln hat effect.
But the actual psychophysics
is that the lines that
are a little bit off, of vertical,
such as this one that are about 20 or
30 degrees away from vertical,
actually appear longer and
this is, tends to carefully,
then goes the vertical line itself.
So it's, it's like Lincoln's actual hat.
Some little dimples in it.
So, this is a, a challenge.
What's going on here?
How can we explain that?
And in particular, how can we explain
this peculiar phenomenology that
leads to sort of a McDonald
arches psychophysical function?
So, how could one go about demonstrating
the basis for that empirically?
In terms of a way of getting around
the inverse problem, by using
experience with the relationship between
lines projected onto the retina.
And the sources of those lines in
the real world that are going to
determine the frequency of occurrence of
lines of different orientations that fall
on the retina in the course of
[COUGH] our lifelong experience and
indeed the experience of
our species over time.
So there is a, a neat way of doing that,
and it involves a device
called a laser range scanner.
This is a device that's of course
not made for psychophysics.
They're very expensive machines.
But it's a device for monitoring the
progress of construction of buildings, for
example, and that's obviously important.
You're putting up a building,
you want to know if its measurements
are going according to the, the blueprint.
And the way in which this device works,
it sends out a, a laser beam.
What's called a laser range scanner,
or laser range finder.
And the laser beam is shot out, and a
quartz clock in the bowels of the machine
measures the time it takes for the light
beam to go out and come back, and
be detected by the detector in
the machinery of this rotating head.
That there is a clock that can
measure this incredibly short

time span is amazing in itself.


But that short time span can be
translated, very accurately into
a distance from the, from the plate,
that's receiving the light beam back.
And within a matter of millimeters,
accurately record the surfaces that
are out there in the world.
And [COUGH], we use this device
to go around natural settings.
Actually, on the Duke campus.
The gate get pictures.
This is just of course,
a digital camera picture.
But this picture is
the information that's recorded by
the laser range scanner, color coded.
So distance that's near
is coded here in red,
a distance that's far away is more bluish,
or greenish in
this case because there are no really
terribly far away distances in this scene.
And the black spots that you
see here is where there is no
surface to be never end of surface.
This is a very clever way
of relating the images that
we are routinely exposed to, and their
three dimensional sources in the world.
And you can take [COUGH]
hundreds of images like this, and
get as much information,
[COUGH] excuse me,
as much information about the world as
you have the patience, to accumulate.
And what's useful about this, is that you
can then use this information to ask,
what is the frequency of occurrence
given the physical structure of
the three dimensional
world that's out there?
What is the frequency of occurrence of
lines that are projected onto
the retina in different orientations?
So in, in this diagram here,
this is just a pixelated piece
of one of the color coded images that
the laser range scanner acquires.
And you could apply to these images,
lines in different orientations,
and of course different lengths.
And ask, how frequently do lines in
different orientations of different
lengths actually get projected onto
the retina as a function of the reality,
the geometrical reality of the real world?
So, the panel here on the right is
a demonstration of how this is done.
So this is these white lines are lines

of different orientations and


lengths that, when applied to the scene.
You have to remember that for
this photograph, we have the color coded
information of the geometry of the world
that's underlying that photograph.
These right lines are cases
in which there is a valid 3D
geometrical straight line underlying
the application of this white line,
this white line, and this white line.
These red lines, conversely, are
applications of lines that didn't return
a valid geometrical line in, in the,
in the 3D geometrical world.
So this is just another way of
saying that, what this allows you
to do is ask how frequently do lines
of different orientations of different
lengths occur in the,
in the normal course of human experience?
The results of this kind
of analysis are shown here.
So on this axis is the length of
the projection onto the retina.
The color code in this case,
are four different orientations.
Lines that are horizontal,
an oblique line at 30 degrees,
an oblique line at 60 degrees and
and a vertical line at 90 degrees.
Not surprisingly, you can see
that the frequency of occurrence,
which is on this axis, is different for
lines in different orientations.
And it's no different in any simple way,
I mean,
you can't just say from these data
that vertical lines appear more
often than horizontal lines,
or anything like that there.
It is a variation in the frequency of
occurrence as a function of light,
length and orientation.
That's why they're complicated.
But let's take on the right
just the horizontal line,
which is shown here in blue.
Frequency of occurrence of the horizontal,
the horizontal of the vertical line,
which is shown here in red and
compare them.
And you can see that for lines of
different lengths there is a substantial
difference in the frequency of occurrence
of horizontal and vertical lines.
And this varies as a function of length.
Well, you might well ask,
how can you use these data?
Well, you can use them by giving

each length of a projection and


you can take any length that you like and
ask what its rank is along this
function for a vertical line or a
horizontal line projected onto the retina.
And, what I'm going to show you
in the next slide, is that,
if you take any particular length.
We want to use a line that's
six pixels in length,
which would be down here some place.
You can, by virtue of the frequency of
occurrence, predict, based on this metric,
what the psychophysical function of lines
in different orientations and lengths.
Six pixels, in this particular instance,
that I'm going to show you as an example.
And ask, does that correspond, or
does that predict what psychophysics
shows you to be the case
when you ask normal subjects to
adjust the lines as we did before.
Here is the psychophysical
function that we showed before.
The McDonald arches showing that yes,
90 degree lines than are longer
than horizontal lines.
But that the peak difference
in the lengths that one
sees as a function of orientation.
Here is, a little bit off vertical.
20, 30 degrees off vertical.
Here, is the prediction.
This is using a, a line with six pixels in
length, as I, mentioned in the last slide.
And, what's remarkable about this is that,
this kind of analysis very dramatically
predicts a phenomenon,
a perception phenomenon that you
would have difficulty
explaining in any other way.
The bottom line here is that
by relying on the empirically
derived frequency of occurrence oriented
lines on the retina, you can rationalize,
predict what people actually
see when they are asked to
make these adjustments in a,
in a psychophysical test.
So I, I think that's impressive
instance in this simplest case and
suffice it to say that the other,
phenomena that I showed
you can all be explained in this,
in the same general way.