Perceptual filling-in: a parametric study

Vision Res. 1998 Sep;38(18):2721-34. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6989(97)00432-x.


We studied perceptual filling-in during maintained peripheral viewing of a uniform gray or red figure presented on a large textured background. Changes in the figure's size, shape, and eccentricity caused variations in the time required for filling-in that could be predicted from the size of its cortical projection within early visual areas. The data suggest that the time which elapsed before the figure was filled-in by its background reflects the time required for figure-ground segregation to fail, rather than a slow spread of the background across the figure. Our findings reveal interactions between surface segregation and filling-in which may be at the basis of normal surface perception.

MeSH terms

  • Figural Aftereffect
  • Humans
  • Optical Illusions
  • Psychological Tests
  • Visual Perception / physiology*