The Relation Between Proximity and Brightness Similarity in Dot Patterns
The Gestalt studies demonstrated the tendency to visually organize dots on the basis of similarity, proximity, and global properties such as closure, good continuation, and symmetry. The particular organization imposed on a collection of dots is thus determined by many factors, some local, some global. We discuss computational reasons for expecting the initial stages of grouping to be achieved by processes with purely local support. In the case of dot patterns, the expectation is that neighboring dots are grouped on the basis of proximity and similarity of contrast, by processes that are independent of the overall organization and the various global factors. We describe experiments that suggest a purely local relationship between proximity and brightness similarity in perceptual grouping.