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Open AccessArticle

Redundant Symmetry Influences Perceptual Grouping (as Measured by Rotational Linkage)

School of Psychology, The University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia
Academic Editor: Marco Bertamini
Symmetry 2017, 9(5), 67;
Received: 8 February 2017 / Revised: 29 April 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 9 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry in Vision)
Symmetry detection has long been a major focus of perception research. However, although symmetry is often cited as a “grouping principle”, the effect of symmetry on grouping, an important form of perceptual organization, has been little measured. In past research, we found little spatio-temporal grouping for oblique lines symmetric around a horizontal axis during ambiguous rotary motion in depth. Grouping was measured by the degree to which the ambiguous motion direction was resolved for two elements in common (rotational linkage). We hypothesized that symmetry-based grouping would be stronger if symmetry was redundant i.e., carried by elements of greater complexity. Using the rotational linkage measure, we compared grouping for horizontally symmetric simple oblique lines and for lines composed of multiple conjoined orientations and found greater grouping for the more complex symmetric lines. A control experiment ruled out possible confounding factors and also showed a grouping effect of vertically aligned endpoints. We attribute the stronger grouping effect of redundant symmetry to the fact that it has a lower probability than does simple symmetry of arising from an accidental environmental arrangement. View Full-Text
Keywords: symmetry; grouping; redundancy; complexity; rotary motion in depth symmetry; grouping; redundancy; complexity; rotary motion in depth
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Gillam, B. Redundant Symmetry Influences Perceptual Grouping (as Measured by Rotational Linkage). Symmetry 2017, 9, 67.

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