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ERIC Number: EJ934352
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Contour Entropy: A New Determinant of Perceiving Ground or a Hole
Gillam, Barbara J.; Grove, Philip M.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v37 n3 p750-757 Jun 2011
Figure-ground perception is typically described as seeing one surface occluding another. Figure properties, not ground properties, are considered the significant factors. In scenes, however, a near surface will often occlude multiple contours and surfaces, often at different depths, producing alignments that are improbable except under conditions of occlusion. We thus hypothesized that unrelated (high entropy) lines would tend to appear as ground in a figure-ground paradigm more often than similarly aligned ordered (low entropy) lines. We further hypothesized that for lines spanning a closed area, high line entropy should increase the hole-like appearance of that area. These predictions were confirmed in three experiments. The probability that patterned rectangles were seen as ground when alternated with blank rectangles increased with pattern entropy. A single rectangular shape appeared more hole-like when the entropy of the enclosed contours increased. Furthermore, these same contours, with the outline shape removed, gave rise to bounding illusory contours whose strength increased with contour entropy. We conclude that figure-ground and hole perception can be determined by properties of ground in the absence of any figural shape, or surround, factors. (Contains 6 figures and 4 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: order@apa.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org/publications
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A