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Perception. 2012;41(2):221-35.

The effect of contour closure on shape recognition.

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Department of Psychology, Saint Joseph's University, 5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131, USA.


Recent research on the Gestalt principle of closure has focused on how the presence of closure affects the ability to detect contours hidden in cluttered visual arrays. Some of the earliest research on closure, however, dealt with encoding and recognizing closed and open shapes, rather than detection. This research re-addresses the relation between closure and shape memory, focusing on how contour closure affects the ability to learn to recognize novel contour shapes. Of particular interest is whether closed contour shapes are easier to learn to recognize and, if so, whether this benefit is due to better encoding of closed contour shapes or easier comparison of closed contour shapes to already learned shapes. The results show that closed contours are indeed easier to recognize and, further, that this advantage appears to be related to better encoding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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