11 December 2013

Concept of form: The Problem of Visual Form Perception Part 1

In this part of the topic we will explain how the information about our surroundings is perceived. We will tell you which aspects of the environment are necessary to perceive the shapes around us and what relationship with the viewer this aspects may have in order to see what we perceive. It seems that in the absence of any effort, the human visual system is able to recover 3-dimension visual images from the environment from ambiguous 2-dimension retinal images. How this feat is possible is considered the problem of visual perception.

Light is reflected from objects and surfaces in the environment and transformed to light information that comes into our eye. The total light coming from the environment and stimulating our eye is called the visual field. The image below is an example of a visual field seen by the left eye of the psychologist Ernst Mach.


This reflected light causes a retinal image. This is a two-dimensional distribution of light of various intensities and wavelengths on the retina. The intensity and wavelength of each point of light depends on the combination of four aspects of the environment: the light source, the reflectance, the surface orientation and the viewing position. All of these aspects must be linked to their relationship with the viewer.

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