Perception: Concepts and Theories

Perception: Concepts and Theories



Perception: A complex process begins in the brain


Perceptual set: A “frame of mind” that expectations affect the interpretation of inputs.


Culture and perception: Nature and experience influence our perception, e.g., the Muller-Lyer Illusion.



Gestalt Laws of Perception: The Whole Is Not the Same As The Sum of The Parts


The Laws

The Meanings

Closure Our brain will “close” a broken shape/figure.
Common fate Things moving at the same speed/direction are thought as in a group/unit.
Figure-and-ground relationship The decision of the background or figures/foreground in a reversible figure.
Good continuation A smooth curve connecting objects are considered as a continuous contour.
Proximity Things grouped closely are seen as having relationships between them.
Similarity Things with similar features such as color and shape are grouped together.
The central law If one has to work too hard to perceive, one will resist it.
The principle of simplicity The brain deals with information to generate the simplest and most stable explanation.



Motion Perception: Influenced by Cultural Heritage




Induced motion A figure is perceived as moving even though only the background is moving.
Perceptual constancies The size, brightness, and shape of a moving object are perceived as unchanging.
The stroboscopic effect Two closely located flashing lights are perceived as one light moving quickly. Used in movies.



Depth/Distance Perception



Monocular (one eye) / Binocular (two eyes)


Aerial perspective Monocular Faraway details are hard to see.
Convergence Binocular Eye muscle strain from inward rotation means closer objects.
Linear perspective Monocular Faraway parallel lines seem closer together.
Motion parallax Monocular Faster moving objects are closer.
Overlap Monocular The object blocking others is closer.
Relative size Monocular The larger object among similar objects is closer.
Retinal disparity Binocular Faraway objects have less disparity.
Texture gradient Monocular Faraway objects are fuzzy.



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