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Junkai Yang, Zhenzhu Yue, Xiang Wu; Independence of the completion effect from the noncompletion effect in illusory contour perception. Journal of Vision 2015;15(14):6. doi: 10.1167/15.14.6.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Spatially separated object information can be effortlessly completed in the visual system, as demonstrated by the well-known Kanizsa-type illusory contours. The perception of illusory contours is closely associated with the spatial configuration of contour fragments, leading to the long-lasting difficulty in distinguishing the effect of the completion process that interpolates the contour fragments from the effect of the noncompletion process that analyzes the contour fragments. However, a close relationship does not necessarily imply nonindependence, e.g., two people may show similar behaviors in one situation but may not in another situation. Inspired by this simple common sense, we conducted a contour discrimination task (i.e., discriminating between the interpolated contours) and a fragment discrimination task (i.e., discriminating between the physically-specified contour fragments) for Kanizsa squares and Kanizsa circles. The performance difference between the contour and fragment discrimination tasks was much larger for Kanizsa circles than for Kanizsa squares. This independence of the completion effect—as indicated by the performance in the contour task—from the noncompletion effect—as indicated by the performance in the fragment task—provides new insights into the understanding of the mechanism of visual completion.
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