Perception of shape from shading

@article{Ramachandran1988PerceptionOS,
  title={Perception of shape from shading},
  author={Vilayanur S. Ramachandran},
  journal={Nature},
  year={1988},
  volume={331},
  pages={163-166}
}
The human visual system can rapidly and accurately derive the three-dimensional orientation of surfaces by using variations in image intensity alone1–5.This ability to perceive shape from shading is one of the most important yet poorly understood aspects of human vision. Here we present several findings which may help reveal computational mechanisms underlying this ability. First, we find that perception of shape from shading is a global operation which assumes that there is only one light… 
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In this thesis, we address the issue of 3-D shape from shading by investigating shape perception in humans and the early vision mechanisms that subserve this perception. We first investigated the
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TLDR
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Shape from shading under inconsistent illumination.
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It is shown that the human visual system can successfully judge 3D surface shape even when the lighting direction varies from place to place over a surface, provided the scale at which these lighting changes occur is similar to, or larger than, the size of the shape features being judged.
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TLDR
The perception of shape-from-shading was found here to be influenced by an external light source, even when the light was obstructed and did not directly illuminate a two-dimensional stimulus, implying that this effect is robust and not low-level in nature.
Statistical Approach to Shape from Shading: Reconstruction of Three-Dimensional Face Surfaces from Single Two-Dimensional Images
TLDR
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Shading and Stereo in Early Perception of Shape and Reflectance
TLDR
The results show that although stereo disparity information is incorporated by early-vision 3-D mechanisms, it is not used to overturn the default assumptions of lighting and shape.
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