Models of contour interpolation have been proposed for illusory contour interpolation but seldom for interpolation of occluded contours. The identity hypothesis (Kellman & Loukides, 1987; Kellman & Shipley, 1991) posits that an early interpolation mechanism is shared by interpolated contours that are ultimately perceived as either illusory or occluded. Here we propose a model of such a unified interpolation mechanism for illusory and occluded contours, building on the framework established in Heitger, von der Heydt, Peterhans, Rosenthaler, and Kubler (1998). We show that a single, neurally plausible mechanism that is consistent with the identity hypothesis also generates contour interpolations in agreement with perception for cases of transparency, self-splitting objects, interpolation with mixed boundary assignment, and "quasimodal" interpolations. Limiting cases for this local, feed-forward approach are presented, demonstrating that both early, local interpolation mechanisms and non-local scene constraints are necessary for describing the perception of interpolated contours.
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