Perceptual Organization, Figure-Ground, Attention and Saliency

Unknown author (1991-08-01)

Notions of figure-ground, inside-outside are difficult to define in a computational sense, yet seem intuitively meaningful. We propose that "figure" is an attention-directed region of visual information processing, and has a non-discrete boundary. Associated with "figure" is a coordinate frame and a "frame curve" which helps initiate the shape recognition process by selecting and grouping convex image chunks for later matching- to-model. We show that human perception is biased to see chunks outside the frame as more salient than those inside. Specific tasks, however, can reverse this bias. Near/far, top/bottom and expansion/contraction also behave similarly.