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The Limiting Case of Amodal Completion: The Phenomenal Salience and the Role of Contrast Polarity

1
Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
2
Faculty of Engineering, Uninettuno University, 00186 Roma, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(6), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9060149
Received: 28 April 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 24 June 2019
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Abstract

In this work, we demonstrated unique and relevant visual properties imparted by contrast polarity in perceptual organization and in eliciting amodal completion, which is the vivid completion of a single continuous object of the visible parts of an occluded shape despite portions of its boundary contours not actually being seen. T-junction, good continuation, and closure are considered the main principles involved according to relevant explanations of amodal completion based on the simplicity–Prägnanz principle, Helmholtz’s likelihood, and Bayesian inference. The main interest of these approaches is to explain how the occluded object is completed, what is the amodal shape, and how contours of partially visible fragments are relatable behind an occluder. Different from these perspectives, amodal completion was considered here as a visual phenomenon and not as a process, i.e., the final outcome of perceptual processes and grouping principles. Therefore, the main question we addressed through our stimuli was “What is the role of shape formation and perceptual organization in inducing amodal completion?” To answer this question, novel stimuli, similar to limiting cases and instantiae crucis, were studied through Gestalt experimental phenomenology. The results demonstrated the domination of the contrast polarity against good continuation, T-junctions, and regularity. Moreover, the limiting conditions explored revealed a new kind of junction next to the T- and Y-junctions, respectively responsible for amodal completion and tessellation. We called them I-junctions. The results were theoretically discussed in relation to the previous approaches and in the light of the phenomenal salience imparted by contrast polarity. View Full-Text
Keywords: amodal completion; shape perception; perceptual organization; depth perception; visual illusions amodal completion; shape perception; perceptual organization; depth perception; visual illusions
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Pinna, B.; Conti, L. The Limiting Case of Amodal Completion: The Phenomenal Salience and the Role of Contrast Polarity. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 149.

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