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The perception of a dotted line in noise: a model of good continuation and some experimental results

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

A formal model is proposed, describing how the perceptual interpretation of dot figures is guided by the Gestalt rule of good continuation. The algorithm will be restricted to figures with a collinear dot array (line) embedded in a background of randomly placed dots. The model, CODE-2, is an elaboration of the model, CODE-1, of grouping dots on the basis of the Gestalt rule of (relative) proximity, and consists of the introduction of non-circular symmetric gaussian distribution functions for the representation of the orientation dependent strength of interaction between collinear dots. Supra-threshold contours of the function, resulting from a superposition on each dot of the gaussian functions, are assumed to predict the perceptual grouping of the dots. A quantitative measure for the perceptual salience of dotted lines was defined as the contrast between the internal coherence of the line dots, and their interference with the noise dots. For 20 stimuli the CODE-2 grouping of the dots is reported, together with the results of a line-in-noise latency experiment. There was a significant correlation between the predicted saliences and the experimental results. The results support the usefulness of representing good continuation between collinear dots by non-circular symmetric gaussian distribution functions.

Affiliations: 1: Psychology Department, University of Nijmegen, 6500 HE Nijmegen, Then Netherlands

10.1163/156856885X00170
/content/journals/10.1163/156856885x00170
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/content/journals/10.1163/156856885x00170
1985-01-01
2016-12-11

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