Masking in Visual Recognition: Effects of Two-Dimensional Filtered Noise

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Science  15 Jun 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4091, pp. 1194-1197
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4091.1194


It is difficult to recognize portraits that have been coarsely sampled and quantized. Blurring such images improves recognition. A simple, straightforward explanation is that high-frequency noise introduced by the sampling and quantizing must be removed by low-pass filtering to improve the signal-to-noise ratio and hence signal detectability or recognition. Experiments reported here, suggested on the basis of a different model, show instead that noise bands that are spectrally adjacent to the picture's spectrum are considerably more effective in suppressing recognition.