Figure Ground Essay

3980 Words Jan 11th, 2013 16 Pages
Graduate Faculty Psychology Bulletin Volume 2, No. 2, 2004

Examining the Effect of Subliminal Priming on Ambiguous Figure Perception
Misa Tsuruta, M.A.1

Abstract ~ Figure-ground organization is a kind of perceptual organization that has been studied in Gestalt psychology. Ambiguous/reversible figures can evoke two different percepts. When we see ambiguous figures, sooner or later our perceptual system determines one side that stands out as the figure, while the other side forms the ground and becomes shapeless. Subjects were subliminally trained with the half-figures of the target
1: Department of Psychology, Graduate Faculty, New School University, New York, USA An extended version of this paper served as partial fullfillment for
…show more content…
As such an example, an interactive view of figureground organization based on the Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP) model has also been proposed (Vecera & O'Reilly, 1998). PDP hypothesizes that there might be access to and feedback from object representation before the completion of figureground organization. Other theories assert that even if a PDP model is employed, that does not affect the convention that figure-ground organization occurs first in the perceptual processing (Peterson & Gibson, 1994). Vecera, Flavaris, and Filapek (2004) concluded from their experiments involving exogenous attention that the processes of figure-ground organization were not completely finished before the operation of focal attention. There has been an argument that figure-ground organization is mediated by unconscious processes (Epstein & De Shazo, 1961; Rock, 1975). This view proposes that the perceptual system oscillates between two interpretations of the figure and only one of them enters the consciousness when the choice is made. As Peterson (1999) argued, the observer might be able to connect the presented figure and the object representation in his/her mind guided by familiarity. For instance, when we walk in front of trees and a building, we are able to successfully distinguish the trees from the building because we have the prior knowledge of their distinctiveness by walking around. Likewise, various kinds of past experience can influence our perceptual

Related Documents