Rock I, Anson R, 1979, "Illusory contours as the solution to a problem" Perception 8(6) 665 – 681
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Illusory contours as the solution to a problem
Irvin Rock, Richard Anson
Received 5 November 1978, in revised form 20 June 1979
Abstract. The perception of certain figures with illusory contours entails a reversal of figure and ground. It is hypothesized that this process occurs in two stages. First, some factor must suggest or cue the reversal. Experiments are described that isolate three such factors, namely, alignment of physically present contours, recognized incompletion of parts of the stimulus array, and set. Once cued, however, other experiments indicate that in a further stage of processing the solution is examined with respect to its compatibility with the stimulus display or with other perceptual properties to which the display gives rise. Only if such compatibility is present will the perception of a figure with illusory contours be maintained.
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