Visual textures, machine vision and animal camouflage

  • Kiltie R
  • Laine A
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The psychophysics of visual texture perception and texture discrimination have been investigated extensively during the past 30 years. Humans have been the main study subjects, but some research on texture perception has involved other species, and there is good reason to think that the most general results from humans apply to other vertebrates as well. Psychophysicists have suggested that some of their findings on human vision reflect adaptive 'tricks' for countering prey camouflage, but this possibility has not been widely communicated to evolutionary biologists. We review the psychophysicists' main conclusions on texture discrimination, and list additional questions that their results raise when animal coats are considered as visual textures. We also suggest ways in which advances in computer vision can be combined with psychophysics to provide new perspectives on the function of animal coat patterns. © 1992.

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  • Richard A. Kiltie

  • Andrew F. Laine

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