Sayim B, Manassi M, Herzog M H, 2010, "How good Gestalt counteracts clutter in contextual modulation" Perception 39 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 28
How good Gestalt counteracts clutter in contextual modulation
B Sayim, M Manassi, M H Herzog
Performance deteriorates when a target is flanked by distractors. For example, Vernier thresholds increase when the Vernier is flanked by lines. Recently, we showed that deterioration was reduced when the lines were made part of a ‘good Gestalt’, eg a rectangle. We proposed that flanker interference diminishes when target and flankers do no fall in the same perceptual group. Here, we presented Verniers flanked on each side by eight vertical irregularly arranged lines. The lines appeared strongly cluttered. Thresholds were more than 10 times the unflanked thresholds. When the cluttered lines were surrounded by rectangles, their deleterious effect almost ceased completely. We suggest that the rectangles reduced interference because they ungrouped the Vernier from the clutter. Our results support the proposition that perceptual grouping is one of the key factors in contextual modulation.
[Supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, Pro*Doc ‘Processes of Perception"]
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