Surface segmentation based on the luminance and color statistics of natural scenes

J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2003 Jul;20(7):1283-91. doi: 10.1364/josaa.20.001283.


The luminance and color of surfaces in natural scenes are relatively independent under certain linear transformations, with the luminance of a surface providing little information about the color of that surface, and vice versa. However, differences in luminance between two locations in a natural scene remain strongly associated with differences in color. We used the statistics of the spatiochromatic structure of natural scenes as the priors for a Bayesian model that decides whether or not two points within an image fall on the same surface. This model provides a biologically plausible algorithm for surface segmentation that models observer segmentations well.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Color*
  • Humans
  • Lighting*
  • Models, Biological*