Perceptual Organisation

One of the most basic issues in visual perception is to account for perceptual segregation, i.e., our ability to work out which parts of the visual information presented to us belong together and thus form separate objects. One of the first systematic attempts to study perceptual segregation and the perceptual organisation to which it gives rise was made by the Gestaltists. They were a group of German psychologists (including Koffka, Köhler, and Wertheimer) who emigrated to the United States between the two World Wars. Their fundamental principle of perceptual organisation was the law of Prägnanz: "Of several geometrically possible organisations that one will actually occur which possesses the best, simplest and most stable shape" (Koffka, 1935, p. 138).



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