Early completion of occluded objects

Vision Research 38:2489-2505 (1998)
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Abstract

We show that early vision can use monocular cues to rapidly complete partially-occluded objects. Visual search for easily detected fragments becomes difficult when the completed shape is similar to others in the display; conversely, search for fragments that are difficult to detect becomes easy when the completed shape is distinctive. Results indicate that completion occurs via the occlusion-triggered removal of occlusion edges and linking of associated regions. We fail to find evidence for a visible filling-in of contours or surfaces, but do find evidence for a "functional" filling-in that prevents the constituent fragments from being rapidly accessed. As such, it is only the completed structures—and not the fragments themselves—that serve as the basis for rapid recognition.

Author's Profile

Ronald A. Rensink
University of British Columbia

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