Many people prefer products made with natural rather than artificial materials, and favor luxury products with high social value. In this study, we examined whether similarities and differences between “naturalness” and “luxuriousness” manifested in the onomatopoeic expressions used in texture evaluation. We used pearls and gold leaf, which have different market values depending on grade. Participants were asked to visually evaluate the “naturalness” and “luxuriousness” of these items through a semantic differential technique and onomatopoeic expressions. We found that it was difficult for non-experts to distinguish which item actually had the highest value, but there was a positive correlation between “naturalness” and “luxuriousness” perceptions. Regarding the onomatopoeia results, when a material was perceived as artificial, participants described its texture with visual onomatopoeia. However, when the material was perceived as natural, tactile as well as visual onomatopoeias were used to describe texture. Based on these results, we suggest that knowledge based on of tactile experience may have influenced the visual perception of “naturalness” and “luxuriousness.”
The group theoretical model of symmetry cognition (Hamada et al., 2016) was tested based on goodness and complexity judgments of dot patterns in a matrix framework. These patterns were divided into cyclic group patterns, determined by the number of rotations, and dihedral group patterns, determined by the number of reflection axes. The former have rotational symmetries and the latter reflectional and rotational symmetries. Undergraduates (N=104) rated the goodness or complexity of 21-dot compound patterns. The goodness and simplicity of these patterns in both their original form and with partially expanded frameworks increased monotonously with the number of transformations. Partially expanding a pattern influenced the goodness of cyclic groups with one transformation, but not the goodness of dihedral groups. Partially expanding a pattern did have an effect on the complexity of both groups, but only with a large number of transformations. For patterns with 4 transformations, the goodness and simplicity of dihedral patterns were higher than those of cyclic group patterns. Furthermore, grouping effects influenced complexity but not goodness judgments.
Facial attractiveness is influenced by various personal and environmental factors. The present study investigated whether the gender environment surrounding observers affected facial attractiveness judgments. Students at single-gender (58 females) and mixed-gender (59 males and 46 females) universities participated in the experiment. Each of 15 male or female faces was morphed, respectively, with a female or male averaged face derived from the other 14 female and male faces, resulting in feminized and masculinized faces. Observers were simultaneously presented with one masculinized and one feminized morphed face and asked to judge which was more attractive. The results showed that students at a women's university judged feminized male faces as significantly more attractive than did students in a coeducational university. The present findings suggest that adaptation to female faces in a single-gender environment increases the processing fluency of female faces, therefore inducing higher preference.
This research note reviews experimental methods to elucidate the visual processing underlying material perception, and considers how to generate experimental stimuli of three-dimensional shapes for the experiments. For generation of a computer graphics image of a three-dimensional object, it has been widely known that its shape features can affect the material appearance of the object. However, it is not established how to systematically control the shape features to investigate the effect. Here we suggest to utilize texture synthesis algorithms. Specifically, we used a height map of a three-dimensional object as a source image, and synthesized a novel height map by using a texture synthesis algorithm. We tested three algorithms to generate the height maps; i) synthesis based on image statistics, ii) example-based synthesis, and iii) synthesis using a convolutional neural network. We discuss how effective the texture synthesis algorithms are to investigate the effect of the shape features on the material perception.
We investigated what visual artists learn during sketch training by comparing 3 groups (Experts, Trainees, and Novices). In 2 tasks (congruence detection and glossiness judgment), we manipulated the specular reflection component of bumpy glossy surface images by angular rotation and asked participants to compare original and modified versions. Effects of task order and type were not significant for Experts, while congruence detection improved the glossiness judgment of Novices and reduced that of Trainees. However, congruence detection did not differ by task order or group. Thus, although sketch training did not affect visual discrimination in figural congruence and gloss, it influenced the relationship between glossiness and highlight–shading congruence.
Point makeup perceptually affects overall facial color; for example, it takes on the tinge of the eye shadow color. This study preliminarily confirmed the assimilation effect by lipstick colors and the relationship between perceptual and esthetic measures. Four typical lipstick colors, red, pink, orange, and violet, were utilized. An averaged face varied based on two factors, lightness (lighter and darker) and hue (reddish and yellowish), was examined. Twenty-four females assessed the faces in terms of perceptual hue (redness for the reddish faces and yellowness for the yellowish faces), perceptual lightness, dullness, and looking-goodness via paired comparisons. Consequently, an assimilation effect of lipstick's hue on perceptual complexion was confirmed. However, a perceptual change in lightness could not be explained by assimilation or contrast; the redness of lipsticks enhanced the perceptual lightness of complexion. Dullness negatively correlated not only with perceptual lightness but also with perceptual redness of faces and physical redness of lipsticks. Looking-goodness clearly correlated with perceptual redness of faces and each lipstick color had its own effect.
Time-varying patterns such as flickering lights can cause discomfort and induce seizures in photosensitive observers. An understanding of the temporal characteristics of visual discomfort is therefore important from both scientific and practical viewpoints. The purpose of this paper is to review existing studies on the impact of temporal characteristics on discomfort. Two related factors have been suggested as predictors of discomfort caused by time-varying patterns: (1) excessive contrast energy at the medium temporal frequencies to which the visual system is generally most sensitive, and (2) temporal deviations from the natural (1/f) statistical characteristic. These effects mirror the visual discomfort caused by spatial patterns, in some ways but not all. The interaction between spatial and temporal parameters needs to be investigated to clarify the factors underlying visual discomfort.