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Vision Res. 1999 May;39(9):1597-610.

A visual evoked potential correlate of global figure-ground segmentation.

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Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale, Università di Padova, Italy.


Human observers discriminated the global orientation of a texture-defined figure which segregated from a texture surround. Global figure discriminability was manipulated through within-figure collinearity, figure-surround interaction, and figure connectedness, while the local orientation contrast at edges between figure and surround was kept constant throughout all the experiments. Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) were recorded during onset-offset stimulation in which the figure cyclically appeared and disappeared from a uniform texture background. A difference component was obtained by subtraction of offset-from onset-VEP. Two negative peaks of the difference component are found with latencies around 140-160 and 200-260 ms, respectively. Enhanced discriminability of the global figure reduced (11-25 ms) the latency of the second peak, hence indicating that the 200-260 ms component was produced by global figure-ground segmentation.

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