Seeing our 3D world while only viewing contour-drawings
Artists can represent a 3D object by using only contours in a 2D drawing. Prior studies have shown that people can use such drawings to perceive 3D shapes reliably, but it is not clear how useful this kind of contour information actually is in a real dynamical scene in which people interact with objects. To address this issue, we developed an Augmented Reality (AR) device that can show a participant a contour-drawing or a grayscale-image of a real dynamical scene in an immersive manner. We compared the performance of people in a variety of run-of-the-mill tasks with both contour-drawings and grayscale-images under natural viewing conditions in three behavioral experiments. The results of these experiments showed that the people could perform almost equally well with both types of images. This contour information may be sufficient to provide the basis for our visual system to obtain much of the 3D information needed for successful visuomotor interactions in our everyday life.