Boundary, Brightness, and Depth Interactions During Preattentive Representation and Attentive Recognition of Figure and Ground
This article applies a recent theory of 3-D biological vision, called FACADE Theory, to explain several percepts which Kanizsa pioneered. These include 3-D pop-out of an occluding form in front of an occluded form, leading to completion and recognition of the occluded form; 3-D transparent and opaque percepts of Kanizsa squares, with and without Varin wedges; and interactions between percepts of illusory contours, brightness, and depth in response to 2-D Kanizsa images. These explanations clarify how a partially occluded object representation can be completed for purposes of object recognition, without the completed part of the representation necessarily being seen. The theory traces these percepts to neural mechanisms that compensate for measurement uncertainty and complementarity at individual cortical processing stages by using parallel and hierarchical interactions among several cortical processing stages. These interactions are modelled by a Boundary Contour System (BCS) that generates emergent boundary segmentations and a complementary Feature Contour System (FCS) that fills-in surface representations of brightness, color, and depth. The BCS and FCS interact reciprocally with an Object Recognition System (ORS) that binds BCS boundary and FCS surface representations into attentive object representations. The BCS models the parvocellular LGN→Interblob→Interstripe→V4 cortical processing stream, the FCS models the parvocellular LGN→Blob→Thin Stripe→V4 cortical processing stream, and the ORS models inferotemporal cortex.