Bart Anderson

Professor, School of Psychology


I am a vision scientist studying a variety of problems in vision.  The main focus of my research is on "mid-level" vision, particularly issues of perceptual organization, segmentation, grouping, and the recovery of surface attributes (such as their color, material composition, shape, etc.).  A collection of some of my demonstrations and papers are listed below for those interested in some science, and for those looking for some fun, check out some of the demos.

Contact Information

Professor Barton L. Anderson
School of Psychology
320 Griffith Taylor Building (A19)
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006

Phone:  +61 (2) 9036-7259

email:  barta “at” (or)  barton.anderson "at"

Demo page


Copyright Notice: The documents distributed here have been provided as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a noncommercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

Anderson, B.L., Tan, K., & Marlow, P.J. (2019) Irrational contour synthesis. Vision Rearch, 158, 200-207.

Marlow, P.J., Mooney, S.W.J., & Anderson, B.L. (2019) Photogeometric cues to perceived surface shading. Current Biology, 29, 306-311.


Anderson, B.L., & Burr, D.C. (2018) Visual Perception: To curve or not to curve. Current Biology, 28, R150-R152.

Marlow, P.J., Kim, J., & Anderson, B.L. (2017) The perception and misperception of surface opacity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114 (52), 13840-13845, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1711416115

Schmid, A., & Anderson, B.L. (2017) Perceptual dimensions underlying lightness perception in homogeneous center-surround displays. Journal of Vision, 1-18. doi:10.1167/17.2.6
Ratnasingam, S., & Anderson, B.L. (2017) What determines the strength of simultaneous color contrast? Journal of Vision, 1-17. doi:10.1167/17.2.13
Anderson, B.L. (2017) A layered experience of lightness and color. The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions, 315-322. Oxford University press: NY, NY.
Anderson, B.L. (2017)  Improbable contour synthesis. The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions, 463-466. Oxford University press: NY, NY.

Marlow, P.J., & Anderson, B.L. (2016) Motion and texture shape cues modulate perceived material properties. Journal of Vision,16(1):5, 1-14. doi:10.1167/16.1.5

Anderson, B.L.  (2015) The perceptual representation of transparency, lightness, and gloss. In J. Wagemans (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Perceptual Organization.  Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 466-483.

Anderson, B.L. (2015) Where does fitness fit in theories of perception? Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 22: 1507-1511. DOI 10.3758/s13423-014-0748-5
Anderson, B.L. (2015)  Q&A:  Bart AndersonCurrent Biology, 25, R640-R642.

Marlow, P.J., & Anderson, B.L. (2015) Material properties derived from three-dimensional shape representationsVision Research, 115, 199-208.

Ratnasingam, S., & Anderson, B.L. (2015) The role of chromatic variance in modulating colour appearanceJournal of Vision, 15 (5): 19, 1-12.  doi: 10.1167/15.5.19

Marlow, P.J., Todorovic, D, & Anderson, B.L (2015)  Coupled computations of 3D shape and materialCurrent Biology, 25(6), R221-222.

Anderson, B.L. (2015) Can computational goals inform theories of vision? Topics in Cognitive Science, 1-13.

Mooney, S.W.J., & Anderson, B.L. (2014)   Specular image structure modulates the perception of three-dimensional shapeCurrent Biology, 24, 2737-2742.
Anderson, B.L., Whitbread, M., & de Silva, C. (2014)  Lightness, brightness, and anchoring Journal of Vision, 14(9):7, 1-13. doi:10.1167/14.9.7

Schmid, A., & Anderson, B.L. (2014)  Do surface reflectance properties and 3D mesostructure influence the perception of lightness?  Journal of Vision, 14 (8):24, 1–24. doi:10.1167/14.8.24

Kim, J., Marlow, P.J., & Anderson, B.L. (2014) Texture-shading flow interactions and perceived reflectanceJournal of Vision, 14(7): 1-19.  doi:10.1167/14.7.1
Kim, J., Jeng, K., & Anderson, B.L. (2014)  Amodal completion is modulated by lightness similarity. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 76(1), 98-111. doi: 10.3758/s13414-013-0540-z

Anderson, B.L.  (2014) The perceptual organzation of depth, lightness, color, and opacity.  In J.S. Werner and L.M. Chalupa (Eds.) The New Visual Neurosciences, MIT Press:  653-664.

Marlow, P.J., & Anderson, B.L. (2013) Generative constraints on image cues for perceived glossJournal of Vision, 13 (14:2), 1-23, doi: 10.1167/13.14.2

Anderson, B.L.  (2013) Filling-in the gaps in models of completion. Cognitive Neuroscience, 4:1, 48-49.

Anderson, B.L. , & Schmid, A.C. (2012) The role of amodal surface completion in stereoscopic transparency. Frontiers in Psychology 3:351, 1-11.  doi: 103389/fpsyg.2012.00351

Kim, J., Marlow, P.J., & Anderson, B.L. (2012) The dark side of gloss. Nature Neuroscience, 15, 1590-1595. doi:10.1038/nn.3221

supplementary material (figures)

Marlow, P.J., Kim, J., & Anderson, B.L. (2012) The perception and misperception of specular reflectanceCurrent Biology, 22, 1909-1913.

Supplementary material

See also R. Fleming's dispatch on this work.

Anderson, B.L. (2012)  Bird-brained illusionists. Science, 335, 292-293.

Anderson, B.L. (2011)  Visual perception of materials and surfaces.   Current Biology, 21 (24), R978-983.

Anderson, B.L., Khang, B.G., & Kim, J. (2011)  Using color to understand perceived lightness.  Journal of Vision, 11(13):19, 1–13.

Kim, J., Marlow, P.J., & Anderson, B.L. (2011)  The perception of gloss depends on highlight congruence with surface shading Journal of Vision, 11(9):4, 1-19.

Marlow, P.J., Kim, J., & Anderson, B.L. (2011)  The role of brightness and orientation congruence in the perception of surface gloss.  Journal of Vision, 11(9):16, 1-12.



Anderson, B.L.  (2011)  The myth of computational level theory and the vacuity of rational analysis Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 34, 189-190.



Anderson, B.L., O'Vari, J., & Barth, H. (2011)  Non-Bayesian Contour SynthesisCurrent Biology, 21, 492-496.

see also Roland Fleming's dispatch on this work.



Anderson, B.L, & Khang, B.G. (2010)  The role of scission in the perception of color and opacityJournal of Vision, 10(5), 1-16. doi:10.1167/10.5.26



Kim, J., & Anderson, B. L. (2010). Image statistics and the perception of surface gloss and lightness. Journal of Vision, 10(9):3, 1-17.



Anderson, B.L., & Kim, J.  (2009) Image statistics do not explain the perception of gloss and lightnessJournal of Vision, 9(11):10, 1-17.



Wollschläger, D., & Anderson, B.L. (2009)  The role of layered scene representations in color appearance.  Current Biology, 19, 430-435.

                    demo1        demo2        demo3

 see also Mike Webster's Current Biology dispatch on this work.



Anderson, B.L. (2009) Revisiting the relationship between transparency, subjective contours, luminance, and color spreadingPerception, 38, 869-871.



Gillam, B., Anderson, B.L., & Rizwi, F. (2009) Failure of facial configural cues to alter metric stereoscopic depthJournal of Vision, 9(1):3, 1-5, doi:10.1167/9.1.3.


Anderson, B.L., Singh, M., & O'Vari, J. (2008) Postscript:  Qualifying and quantifying constraints on transparency.  Psychological Review, 115(4), 151-153.

Anderson, B.L., Singh, M., & O'Vari, J. (2008) Natural psychological decompositions of perceived transparency:  Reply to Albert. Psychological Review, 115(4), 144-151.


Anderson, B.L., & Winawer, J. (2008)  Layered image representations and the computation of surface lightness.  Journal of Vision, 8(7), 1-22, doi:10.1167/8.7.18. 


Anderson, B.L. (2008) Transparency and Occlusion.  In Basbaum, A.I., Kaneko, A., Shepherd, and Westheimer, G. (eds.)  The Senses:  A comprehensive Reference, Vol. 2, Vision II, Albright, T.D., & Masland, R. (volume eds.), San Diego:  Academic Press, 239-244

Anderson, B.L. (2007) Postscript:  Filling in models of completionPsychological Review, 117(2), 525-527.

Anderson, B.L.  (2007)  Filling-in theories of completion:  Rejoinder to Kellman, Garrigan, Shipley, and Keane (2007) and Albert (2007)Psychological Review, 114(2), 509-527.

Anderson, B.L.  (2007) The demise of the identity hypothesis, and the insufficiency and non-necessity of contour relatability in predicting object interpolation:  Comment on Kellman, Garrigan, and Shipley (2005)Psychological Review, 144(2), 470-487.

Anderson, B.L., Singh, M.,  & Meng, J. (2006)  The perceived opacity of inhomogeneous surfaces and media. Vision Research, 46, 1982-1995.

Singh, M., & Anderson, B.L. (2006)  Photometric determinants of perceived transparency. Vision Research, 46, 879-894.

Grove, P.M., Brooks, K.R., Anderson, B.L, & Gillam, B. J. (2006) Monocular transparency and unpaired stereopsis.  Vision Research, 46, 1695-1705.


Anderson, B.L.,& Winawer, J. (2005)  Image segmentation and lightness perceptionNature, 434, 79-83.

see also Alan Gilchrist's Current Biology dispatch on this work

Anderson, B.L. (2003 ) The role of occlusion in the perception of depth, lightness, and opacity. Psychological Review110, 762-784.


Anderson, B.L. (2003)  Perceptual organization and White's illusion.  Perception,  32, 269-284.

Fleming, R.W., & Anderson, B.L. (2003)  The perceptual organization of depth.  In (Chalupa,  L. and Werner,  J.S. Eds.)  The Visual Neurosciences.  Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Anderson, B.L., Singh, M., & Fleming, R. (2002) The interpolation of object and surface structure. Cognitive Psychology, 44, 148-190.

Singh, M., & Anderson, B.L. (2002) Toward a perceptual theory of transparency. Psychological Review109, 492-519.

Singh, M., & Anderson, B.L. (2002)  Perceptual assignment of opacity to translucent surfaces: The role of image blur. Perception, 31, 531-552.

Anderson, B.L. (2001) Contrasting theories of White's illusion. Perception30, 1499-1501.

van Ee, R., Anderson, B.L, & Farid, H. (2001)  Occlusion junctions do not improve stereoacuity.   Spatial Vision, 15, 45-59.


van Ee, R., & Anderson, B.L. (2001)  Motion direction, speed, and orientation in binocular matching. Nature,410, 690-694.



Anderson, B.L. (2000)  Depth Perception.  APA's Encyclopedia of Psychology.


Anderson, B.L. (1999) Stereoscopic surface perception.  Neuron, 24, 919-928.

Anderson, B.L., & Barth, H.C. (1999) Motion based mechanisms of illusory contour synthesis. Neuron, 24, 433-441.

Anderson, B.L. (1999) Putting plaids in perspectiveNature, 401, 342-343.

Malik, J., Anderson, B.L. & Charowhas, C.E. (1999) Stereoscopic occlusion junctions.  Nature Neuroscience, 2, 840-843.

Anderson, B.L. (1999) Stereoscopic occlusion and the aperture problem for motion: A new solution.  Vision Research, 39, 1273-1284.



Anderson, B.L.  (1999)  Surface Perception. In R.A. Wilson and F.C. Keil (eds.) Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences.  MIT Press, Cambridge, MA:  816-817.


Anderson, B.L. (1998) Stereovision: Beyond disparity computations. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2, 222-228.


Anderson, B. L. (1997) A theory of illusory lightness and transparency in monocular and binocular Images: The role of contour junctions.  Perception , 26(4), 419-454.


Anderson, B.L., & Sinha, P. (1997)  Reciprocal Interactions Between Occlusion and Motion Computations.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 94, 3477-3480.

Anderson, B.L., & Julesz, B. (1995)  A theoretical analysis of illusory contour formation in stereopsis. Psychological Review, 102, 705-743.

Anderson, B.L., & Nakayama, K. (1994)  Toward a general theory of stereopsis: Binocular matching, occluding contours, and fusion.  Psychological Review, 101, 414-445.

Anderson, B.L. (1994)  The role of partial occlusion in stereopsisNature, 367, 365-368.

Anderson, B.L. (1992)  Hysteresis, cooperativity, and depth averaging in dynamic random-dot stereograms.  Perception & Psychophysics, 51, 511-528.


Mowafy, L., Lappin, J.S., Anderson, B.L., & Mauk, D.L. (1990) Temporal factors in coherent motion perceptionPerception & Psychophysics, 52, 508-518.