Shape from Shading in Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).
Qadri, Muhammad A.
Romero, L. Michael.
Cook, Robert G.
- Birds behave as if they quickly and accurately perceive an object-filled visual world. Beyond the extensive research with pigeons, however, there is a large and important gap in our knowledge about the mechanisms of object perception and recognition in other avian visual systems. The pattern of shading reflected from the surfaces of objects is one important optical feature that provides fundamental ... read moreinformation about shape. To better understand how surface and object shading is processed by a passerine species, 5 starlings were tested with differentially illuminated convex and concave curved surfaces in 3 experiments using a simultaneous visual discrimination procedure. Starlings rapidly learned this shape-from-shading discrimination independent of varied lighting direction, surface color, and camera perspective. Variations in the pattern of lighting through experimental manipulations of camera perspective, surface height, contrast, material specularity, and surface shape were consistent with the hypothesis that the starlings perceived these illuminated surfaces as having 3-dimensional shape, similar to results previously collected with pigeons. These similarities across different orders of birds indicate that the relative shading of objects in a visual scene is a highly salient feature for shape processing in birds and is likely a highly conserved visual process that is widely distributed within this class of animal. ©American Psychological Association, 2014. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0036848.read less
- Qadri, M. A. J., Romero, L. M., & Cook, R. G. (2014). Shape from shading in starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 128(4), 343-356. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0036848.