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PSYCH 1XX3 (270)
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Chapter 9

PSYCH 1XX3 Chapter 9: Module 9- Form Perception 1

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McMaster University
Joe Kim

Module 9 Form Perception 1 Gestalt Principles Gestalt Philosophy - 1920’s to 1930’s - German psychologists - Believed that people perceive the whole stimulus rather than each individual part - A reaction to the structuralist approach - A movie is an example - There is not continuous movement in or across any of the frames but we still perceive continuous movement as we watch rapid sequence of still pictures - Motion is an emergent property of the sequence of pictures - The perception of a movie in its entirety, including all of the complex movement is something more than the collection of thousands of still photographs - Analyzing the pictures wouldn’t give the same experience - Gestalt Principles: laws that describe how we organize visual input 1. Figure-ground separation: the ability to determine what aspect of a visual scene is part of the object itself and what is part of the background. Done on a regular basis and become more difficult if the cues that are used to make these figures aren’t clear (or if the figures are reversible) 2. Proximity: elements that are close together in space tend to belong together 3. Closure: refers 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 object 4. Similarity: the tendency to group together elements that are physically similar 5. Continuity: is the Gestalt principle that lets us perceive a simple continuous form rather than a combination of awkward forms 6. Common fate: the idea that things that change in the same way should be grouped together. (blends in eg camoflouge) Pattern and Object Recognition - Preliminary steps in object recognition involve identifying what aspect of the scene is the background and the foreground - Once identified the parts of the figure are grouped together into a single object - Bottom-up processing: object recognition is guided by the features that are present in the stimulus - Top-down processing: object recognition is guided by your own beliefs or expectations - Bidirectional Activation: Using both types of processing. - Priming experiments: o The experimenter measures how fast a participant can read a word that is flashed on a screen o If you tell the participant that the next word is an animal you’ll find a priming effect, as words like dog and duck will be recognized faster o This shows that processing of a word is more efficient if the participant is primed from a certain category o Top-down processing cant work alone because you need some input from the stimulus itself before there are expectations o Bottom-up processing cannot explain everything either, expectations certainly do influence our perception o Both processes are involved and that there is a bi-directional activation, where processing occurs in both directions at once - Birderman’s Geon theory o Suggests that we have 36 different Geon’s or simple geometrical forms, stored in memory o These would be form
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