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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Bounding contours provide vital information regarding the 2D and 3D shape of objects in the world, but the complex clutter of natural scenes and fragmentation make the organization of local orientation signals into global shapes a challenging perceptual problem. A standard model for this process involves (1) local orientation coding, (2) pairwise association of local-oriented responses, and (3) global contour extraction. This chapter reviews research that has shed light on these stages. Key limitations of this framework are discussed. This motivates an analysis of global cues for the perceptual organization of contours, and the role of cortical feedback in bringing those cues to bear. A conceptual framework for this cortical computation involves a generative model of shape localized in higher areas of object pathway. A promising candidate for this model is based upon local deformations of perceptual space called formlets, which guarantee the topological validity of proposed global shape hypotheses.

Keywords: contours, shape, proximity, good continuation, similarity, computational models, Bayesian inference, cue combination, completion, closure

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