Natural Image Contours

Friday, March 10, 2006 - 9:00am - 10:00am
EE/CS 3-180
James Elder (York University)
The important role of contours in visual perception has been recognized
for many years (e.g., Wertheimer 1923/1938). While early Gestalt
insights derive from observation of highly idealized images, decades of
computer vision research have demonstrated the computational complexity
of inferring and exploiting contours in natural images. Physiological
data, while generating some intriguing clues, are often too local
(single unit recording) or too global (imaging) to provide the data
needed to constrain existing models or inspire new ones.

In this talk I will discuss recent work that attempts to bring together
psychophysical, computational and physiological approaches to
understanding contour processing in natural images. A unifying
foundation for this effort is a continuing project to measure and model
the statistics of natural image contours. These ecological results lead
to new computer vision algorithms for natural contour grouping,
normative models for contour processing that may be evaluated
psychophysically, and to new models for neural selectivity to natural
image contours that may be tested against physiological data.

MSC Code: