The Perceptual Genesis of Near Versus Far in Pictorial Stimuli
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The experiments reported herein probe the visual cortical mechanisms that control near-far percepts in response to two-dimensional stimuli. Figural contrast is found to be a principal factor for the emergence of percepts of near versus far in pictorial stimuli, especially when stimulus duration is brief. Pictorial factors such as interposition (Experiment 1) and partial occlusion (Experiments 2 and 3) may cooperate or compete with contrast factors, in the manner predicted by the FACADE model. In particular, if the geometrical configuration of an image favors activation of cortical bipole grouping cells, as at the top of aT-junction, then this advantage can cooperate with the contrast of the configuration to facilitate a near-far percept at a lower contrast than at an X-junction. The more balanced bipole competition in the X-junction case takes longer to resolve than in the T-junction case (Experiment 3).