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ERIC Number: EJ945647
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Grouping and Emergent Features in Vision: Toward a Theory of Basic Gestalts
Pomerantz, James R.; Portillo, Mary C.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v37 n5 p1331-1349 Oct 2011
Gestalt phenomena are often so powerful that mere demonstrations can confirm their existence, but Gestalts have proven hard to define and measure. Here we outline a theory of basic Gestalts (TBG) that defines Gestalts as emergent features (EFs). The logic relies on discovering wholes that are more discriminable than are the parts from which they are built. These wholes contain EFs that can act as basic features in human vision. As context is added to a visual stimulus, a hierarchy of EFs appears. Starting with a single dot and adding a second yields the first two potential EFs: the "proximity" (distance) and "orientation" (angle) between the two dots. A third dot introduces two more potential EFs: "symmetry" and "linearity"; a fourth dot produces "surroundedness". This hierarchy may extend to collinearity, parallelism, closure, and more. We use the magnitude of Configural Superiority Effects to measure the salience of EFs on a common scale, potentially letting us compare the strengths of various grouping principles. TBG appears promising, with our initial experiments establishing and quantifying at least three basic EFs in human vision. (Contains 4 footnotes, 1 table and 8 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas