Perceived depth inversion of smoothly curved surfaces due to image orientation.J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1990 Aug; 16(3):653-64.JE
A relative depth judgement task was used to distinguish perceived reversals in depth due to image orientation from spontaneous reversals such as those observed with a Necker cube. Results demonstrate that inversion effects due to image orientation can occur for several different types of pictorial representation and that many of these effects are incompatible with traditional explanations involving a perceptual bias for overhead illumination. When this bias was neutralized by placing the light source at the point of observation, the effects of image orientation were just as large as with overhead illumination. Similar results were also obtained for surfaces depicted with texture or motion in which all relevant shading information was eliminated. These results can be explained by a perceptual bias for backward slanting surfaces, but additional evidence suggests that this bias can be attenuated by the presence of smooth occlusion contours.