Young infants' perception of illusory contours in dynamic displays.


Ninety-six 4-month-old infants were habituated to one of three computer-generated displays depicting two rod parts above and below an occluding box. In the first display, the surfaces and boundaries of the rod and box were specified by dense surface texture. Their depth segregation was specified by accretion and deletion of background texture and motion shear. In the second display, the unity of the rod parts and box, and their depth segregation, were specified only by illusory contours. In the third display, the boundaries of the rod and box were specified by illusory contours, perceptible only via spatiotemporal integration of accretion and deletion of sparse-background-texture elements. Infants appeared to perceive object unity, and segregate the rod and box surfaces, in all three displays, indicating use of illusory contours to perceive bounded surfaces in depth. The results suggest a cognitive contribution to perception of some illusory contours, abilities which seem to be present by at least 4 months of age.

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@article{Johnson1998YoungIP, title={Young infants' perception of illusory contours in dynamic displays.}, author={Scott P. Johnson and Richard N. Aslin}, journal={Perception}, year={1998}, volume={27 3}, pages={341-53} }