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Chapter 6 Perception.doc

Course Code
PSY 1101
Najwa Haddad

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Ω Perception
I. Perceptual Organization
Gestalt Psychology
-school in psychology founded in the early 1900s in Germany
-researchers interested in how the brain organizes information collected by the senses
-no longer exists as a school of psychology
gestalt = a form; a whole
-the brain is innately predisposed to organize information into a gestalt (an organized form,
a unified whole)
-i.e.: the face
-the whole may exceed the sum of its parts
-e.g.: seeing a circle when there is no circle
-the brain is not passive; it is actively involved in construction perception
A. Form Perception
A.1. Figure and Ground
-we innately organize a visual scene into a figure and ground
figure- any object we pay attention to
ground- the background
-applies to other sense
-figure and ground are constantly reversing
-the stimulus gives more than 1 perception
-the figure and ground is a creation of the brain, not a property of the physical world
A.2. Grouping
How else do we perceive form?
Gestalt Principle's Rules:
1) proximity- elements in a visual scene that are spatially and physically close to each
other are perceived as a single unit
2) similarity- elements in a scene that are physically similar to each other (i.e.: color,
shape, etc.) are perceived as a set
3) continuity- elements in a scene that appear to flow in the same direction or have a
similar pattern are perceived as a unit and our eyes follow them

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4) connectedness- elements in a scene that are connected to each other by other elements
are perceived as a unit / a whole (e.g.: a ladder - made up of rings and the sidings)
5) closure- the brain fills in the gaps
B. Depth Perception
-depth perception allows one to see the world in 3D (width, depth, length)
-it allows you to determine how close or how far an object is
-depth perception is partly innate
-e.g.: it was tested using a visual cliff
-it involves a glass table with a pattern on the floor and the table; it is used to test
if the baby and animals have depth perception
-it creates the illusion of a cliff
B.1 Binocular Depth Cues
-2 major depth cues that the brain uses to determine the distance of an object
-requires both eyes to process cues
The 2 Types of Binocular Depth Cues:
1) Retinal Disparity
-each eye looks at the world from a different angle / perspective; each retina gets a slightly
different image of the world
-the brain compares the retinal disparity
-larger retinal disparity = the closer the object appears to be
-smaller retinal disparity = the further the object appears to be
2) Convergence
-the degree to which the muscles of your eyes turn your eyes inward in order to focus on an
-more convergence = the closer the object is
-less convergence = the further the object is
B.2 Monocular Depth Cues
-requires one eye to process information from the cue
1) Relative Size
-in a visual scene, 2 or more objects are assumed to be of similar size
-the one that appears larger is closer
-the one that appears to be smaller is further away
2) Interposition
-in a visual scene, one element of the scene is partially blocking another element
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