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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Figure-ground organization is highly sensitive to the context within the visual image. A specific class of signals in visual processing, called ‘Border-ownership’ (BOWN) signals, indicate at each location along the boundaries which one of the two sides of the boundary is closer to the viewer and, hence, the boundary represents the edge of the closer surface. BOWN-sensitive neurons in the visual cortex are likely to play a key role in figure-ground perception. It is assumed that these neurons exhibit long-range interactions involving feedback circuits to reflect the global configuration. In addition, mutual interactions occur between the hierarchically organized processes of boundary detection, border-ownership computation, figure-ground organization, and shape representation. How exactly this dynamic feedback system operates is still in debate. The key properties of a neuro-computational model for BOWN in conjunction with known features of bistable figure-ground perception (e.g. Rubin’s face-or-vase illusion) are discussed.

Keywords: border-ownership, figure-ground organization, bistable perception, Rubin’s face-or-vase illusion, hierarchical organization in visual cortex

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