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Proceedings Paper

Gestalt laws of grouping revisited and quantified
Author(s): Michael Kubovy
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Paper Abstract

The classic Gestalt laws of grouping by proximity and grouping by similarity have never been quantified, nor have their interactions been specified with any degree of precision. I will present a number of experimental and theoretical results from my lab, based on the responses of human observers to repeated brief (approximately 300 ms) presentations of perceptually multi-stable periodic dot patterns. I will show that the distribution of the probability of seeing any one of the possible perceptual interpretations is: (1) scale invariant, (2) changes little with reductions in duration to 100 ms, (3) can be predicted exactly on the assumption that dots are attracted to group with each other by a force that decays exponentially with the distance between them. I will also show that factors such the non-uniformity of lightness of dots in the lattice interact additively with the strength of grouping by proximity. I will also show how the fact that grouping is a hierarchical process expresses itself within the framework of the proposed model.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 1997
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3016, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging II, (3 June 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.274537
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Kubovy, Univ. of Virginia (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3016:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging II
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas, Editor(s)

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