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Illusory contours and surfaces without amodal completion and depth stratification

Pinna, Baingio and Spillmann, Lothar and Ehrenstein, Walter H. (2004) Illusory contours and surfaces without amodal completion and depth stratification. Vision Research, Vol. 44 (16), p. 1851-1855. ISSN 0042-6989. Article.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2004.02.013


Cognitive and figural cues were studied in modified Ehrenstein figures made from letters of the alphabet instead of radial lines. Capital letters with and without terminators (L, J vs O, D) were used, oriented towards or away from the central gap. Three groups, of 14 subjects each, estimated the magnitude of either (i) the illusory contour, (ii) brightness enhancement, or (iii) apparent depth. Strong illusory contour formation and brightness enhancement, but no depth stratification, were perceived in figures devoid of apparent occlusion and amodal completion. These results demonstrate that the Ehrenstein illusion can arise from line ends––with no need for perceptual completion, showing that illusory boundaries and surfaces can be dissociated from apparent depth. Results support a bottom-up explanation in terms of end-stopped neurons in the visual cortex. Conversely, top-down processes appear to be responsible for depth stratification.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:2385
Uncontrolled Keywords:Illusory contours, brightness enhancement, amodal completion, depth stratification, bottom-up vs top-down processing, Ehrenstein illusion
Subjects:Area 11 - Scienze storiche, filosofiche, pedagogiche e psicologiche > M-PSI/01 Psicologia generale
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Scienze dei linguaggi
Publisher:Pergamon / Elsevier
Deposited On:18 Aug 2009 10:07

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