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Joseph Brooks, Jon Driver; Putting figure-ground organization and perceptual grouping in context. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):826. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/8.6.826.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Gestalt psychology inspired wide interest in processes of perceptual grouping and figure-ground organization. But while often mentioned together in textbooks, these two topics have rarely been directly related. Figure-ground organization is usually discussed in terms of local properties on one or the other side of an edge that may determine the side to which that edge becomes assigned. Perceptual grouping is usually discussed in terms of linking otherwise discontinuous elements in an image. Here we address whether figure-ground assignment might be affected by grouping relations between discontinuous edges. Specifically, we tested for ‘context’ effects, whereby the figural assignment of one edge might induce a corresponding figural assignment for a separate but perceptually-grouped edge. We used both subjective report and also an objective, short-term edge-matching task to confirm that this can indeed apply consistently. Thus, contextual information can affect figure-ground assignment via perceptual grouping.
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