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Cognitive Psychology 44, 148190 (2002) doi:10.1006/cogp.2001.0765, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on

Summary: Cognitive Psychology 44, 148190 (2002)
doi:10.1006/cogp.2001.0765, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on
The Interpolation of Object and Surface Structure
Barton L. Anderson, Manish Singh, and Roland W. Fleming
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
One of the main theoretical challenges of vision science is to explain how the
visual system interpolates missing structure. Two forms of visual completion have
been distinguished on the basis of the phenomenological states that they induce.
Modal completion refers to the formation of visible surfaces and/or contours in
image regions where these properties are not specified locally. Amodal completion
refers to the perceived unity of objects that are partially obscured by occluding
surfaces. Although these two forms of completion elicit very different phenomeno-
logical states, it has been argued that a common mechanism underlies modal and
amodal boundary and surface interpolation (the ``identity hypothesis''; Kellman &
Shipley, 1991; Kellman, 2001). Here, we provide new data, demonstrations, and
theoretical principles that challenge this view. We show that modal boundary and
surface completion processes exhibit a strong dependence on the prevailing lumi-
nance relationships of a scene, whereas amodal completion processes do not. We
also demonstrate that the shape of interpolated contours can change when a figure
undergoes a transition from a modal to an amodal appearance, in direct contrast to


Source: Anderson, Barton L. - School of Psychology, University of Sydney
Singh, Manish - Department of Psychology, Rutgers University


Collections: Biology and Medicine