Contour entropy: A new determinant of perceiving ground or a hole

Gillam, Barbara J. and Grove, Philip M. (2011) Contour entropy: A new determinant of perceiving ground or a hole. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 37 3: 750-757. doi:10.1037/a0021920

Author Gillam, Barbara J.
Grove, Philip M.
Title Contour entropy: A new determinant of perceiving ground or a hole
Journal name Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0096-1523
Publication date 2011-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1037/a0021920
Volume 37
Issue 3
Start page 750
End page 757
Total pages 8
Place of publication Washington, DC, U.S.A.
Publisher American Psychological Association
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Figure-ground perception is typically described as seeing one surface occluding another. Figure properties, not ground properties, are considered the significant factors. In scenes, however, a near surface will often occlude multiple contours and surfaces, often at different depths, producing alignments that are improbable except under conditions of occlusion. We thus hypothesized that unrelated (high entropy) lines would tend to appear as ground in a figure-ground paradigm more often than similarly aligned ordered (low entropy) lines. We further hypothesized that for lines spanning a closed area, high line entropy should increase the hole-like appearance of that area. These predictions were confirmed in three experiments. The probability that patterned rectangles were seen as ground when alternated with blank rectangles increased with pattern entropy. A single rectangular shape appeared more hole-like when the entropy of the enclosed contours increased. Furthermore, these same contours, with the outline shape removed, gave rise to bounding illusory contours whose strength increased with contour entropy. We conclude that figure-ground and hole perception can be determined by properties of ground in the absence of any figural shape, or surround, factors.
Keyword Figure-ground
Hole perception
Illusory contours
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Authors preprint title: "Contour entropy: A new way of perceiving regions as figure or ground".

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Created: Tue, 20 Mar 2012, 20:55:34 EST by Mrs Alison Pike on behalf of School of Psychology