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date: 17 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Perceptual organization encompasses grouping and segregating processes; grouping processes assemble visual elements into perceptual wholes, and segregating processes parse visual input into separate objects. In this chapter, we review behavioral evidence regarding both image-based (objective) and perceiver-based (subjective) factors that operate to produce grouping and segregation. We consider both how these factors combine and compete and when in the course of processing they operate. The research reviewed in this chapter shows that the traditional view of perceptual organization as an early process that provides the substrate on which high-level perceptual processes operate is oversimplified. Recent research makes a case that perceptual organization is neither a stage of processing nor a monolithic entity. Instead, perceptual organization results from interactions among multiple cues and processes at many levels; it is a form of selection, in that only one of many interpretations that could be fit to a display is perceived.

Keywords: grouping, segregation, figure-ground perception, objective factors, subjective factors, Gestalt, past experience, cue integration, selection, direct measures, indirect measures

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