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Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception. Gestalt – Movement in experimental psychology which began prior to WWI. We perceive objects as well-organized patterns rather than separate components. “The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.” Based on the concept of “grouping”.

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gestalt principles of visual perception2
Gestalt – Movement in experimental psychology which began prior to WWI.

We perceive objects as well-organized patterns rather than separate components.

“The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.”

Based on the concept of “grouping”.

Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception
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Illusory

Contours

Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception

The Kanisza triangle as figure-ground illusory contours

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Three Main Principles:

Grouping (proximity, similarity, continuity, closure)

Goodness of figures

Figure/ground relationships

Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception
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Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception

Grouping:

Law of Similarity

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Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception

Grouping: Law of Similarity: Shape, Scale, Color

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Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception

Law of Good Continuation, or Continuity

Objects arranged in either a straight line or a smooth curve tend to be seen as a unit.

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Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception

Goodness of Figure, or the Law of Pragnanz

(Pragnanz is German for Pregnant, but in the sense of pregnant with meaning, not with child!)

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Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception

Figure/Ground relationships

Figure – seen as the foreground

Ground – seen as the background

Contours – “belong” to the figure

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Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception

Reversible Figure/Ground

relationship

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Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception

Reversible Figure/Ground

relationship

Can be affected by the principle of smallness:

Smaller areas tend to be seen as figures against a larger background.

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Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception

Reversible Figure/Ground

Relationship:

Tessellation – interlocking figure/ground

M.C. Escher

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Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception
  • Gestalt laws of Grouping organize the visual scene into units
  • The Law of Pragnanz, or Goodness of Figure creates the simplest most meaningful pattern
  • Figure/Ground relationships define important parts of the scene
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Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception

Problems with Gestalt theory:

  • It is a phenomenological approach
  • Some of the terms are vague

(e.g. what is the “simplest” organization?)