Abstract and Keywords
The author describes the quantification of grouping by proximity using a perturbation approach applied to briefly seen arrays of dots distributed in space or space-time. This work revealed a law of grouping by proximity (the pure distance law): the log-odds of seeing alternative groupings is a linear function of the ratios of their interdot distances, independent of the configuration of the array of dots. Surprisingly, curved organizations are more salient than rectilinear ones. Studies of grouping in space-time revealed that perception of apparent motion is inconsistent with any notion of spatiotemporal distance. When grouping principles (such as proximity and similarity) are conjoined (i.e., more than one grouping principle is applied to the same stimulus), they sometimes affect perception additively. When they do not operate additively, they interact to produce a new emergent property.
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