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Joe Kim (962)
Lecture 12

Lecture 12+13 Form Perception.docx

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Joe Kim

1Lecture 1213 Form Perception Gestalt PrinciplesA group of psychologists in Germany called Gestalt Psychologists began to study how people perceive the world around themWith respect to perception they firmly believed that the whole is different than the sum of its partsThey believed that people tended to perceive the whole stimulus rather than just putting together a collection of the stimulus discrete partsThe Gestalt movement was in part a reaction to the structuralist approach at the time which suggested that everything could be reduced to basic elements Ex Consider the perception of movement you experience when watching a movie made by flashing slightly different static pictures every secondo There isnt continuous movement in or across any of these frames but we still perceive continuous movement as we watch the rapid sequence of still picturesMotion is an emergent property of the sequence of picturesThe perception of the movie in its entirety is something more than the collection of thousands of still photographsGestalt psychologists also proposed laws of organization that described how we group visual input in certain waysThese laws of organization are called the Gestalt principles and it is thought that they are innate or that we acquire them rapidly There are six of them o FiguregroundThe ability to determine what aspect of a visual scene is part of the object itself and what is part of the backgroundEx Viewing a vase of flowers against a flowery wallpaperIn the simplest scenario you would have a small enclosed region that is completely surrounded by a larger region which would be the backgroundThe figure would tend to have distinct borders or edges that give it a perceptible form and is perceived as being in front of the backgroundBackground is typically formless or made up of multiple formsThis seemingly simple process can be more difficult if the cues that are used to make these figureground decisions arent clear as is the case with reversible figuresEx Picture of two people about to kiss or a wine glass in the middle o ProximitySays that elements that are close together in space tend to belong togetherEx A field of daisiesThe daises arent all uniformly spaced apart but tend to have regions where theyve clustered close together in some areas and fewer in numbers in other areasYou will naturally see the regions of high daisy density as one group of daisies because of their proximity to each other rather than grouping together some daisies from one cluster with some from another cluster 2o ClosureRefers to the fact that if there are gaps in the contours of a shape we tend to fill in those gaps and perceive a whole objectExPicture of a truck crashed into a telephone poleAlthough the telephone pole is in front of the truck and blocking part of the contour of the truck you dont perceive the object as being two separate pieces of a truckInstead you automatically fill in the missing part that you cant see and perceive the truck as a whole objectEx A rectangle with gaps in itYou will perceive it as a rectangle even if there are obvious gaps in itIn fact your tendency to fill in the gaps may be so strong that you might even think you see faint lines across the gaps o SimilarityThe tendency for us to group together elements that are physically similarEx A grid of alternating columns of Xs and OsYou will tend to see the columns of the same elements either all Xs or all Os as belonging together rather than grouping together a row of X O X O o ContinuityPrinciple that lets us perceive a simple continuous form rather than a combination of awkward formsEx The letter X tends to be perceived as two continuous linesandthat cross in the middle rather than seeing a combination ofAndo Common FateThe idea that things that change in the same way should be grouped togetherEx We tend to group elements together if they are moving together in the same direction at the same timeIf we look at a school of fish and see them moving together in the same direction we will tend to group them togetherThis tendency is strong enough to lead us to a perception of the group of elements as a kind of object on its ownCan also explain why we can suddenly see a camouflaged animal once it moves like a moth against the bark of a treeWhen the most is still it is almost impossible to see where the wings of the moth end and the bark beginsBut as soon as the moth moves there are elements within the moths pattern that are moving together in the same direction and at the same timeThese moving elements with a common fate allow the contour of the moths shape to be perceived and the moth seems to pop out against the tree PatternObject RecognitionExpectations
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