Browse Prior Art Database

Derived scales for degree of simultaneous contrast in six Benussi ring figures

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000147987D
Original Publication Date: 1974-Aug-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2007-Mar-28
Document File: 21 page(s) / 1M

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Anderson, Nancy S.: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Nancy S. Anderson* Steven M. Pine* Azriel Rosenfeld "Department of Psychology The partial support of the Office of Computing ,Activities, National Science Foundation, under Grant GJ-32258X, is grate- fully acknowledged. I ABSTRACT Gestal t psychologists have explained the reduction o f s imul taneous contrast i n the Benussi ring figure as a result o f laws of mental organization. Thisstudy investigated the properties of these laws by studying six variations ofthe basic Benussi figure. The six figures varied only with respect to the typeof boundary used to divide the ring o f the Benussi figure. Scales varying along the dimension of degree of simultaneous contrast were derived using the methodof paired comparisons for two viewing conditions. Based on these scales itwas concluded that the Gestalt concept of "good continuation" should be eliminated as a viable hypothesis. An explanation of the phenomenon i s presented based onan "apparent" separation between parts o f the figure, and the degree of figure- ground symmetry.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
At least one non-text object (such as an image or picture) has been suppressed.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 12% of the total text.

Page 1 of 21

August, 1974

Derived scales for degree of
simultaneous contrast
in six Benussi ring figures

Nancy S. Anderson* Steven M. Pine*
Azriel Rosenfeld

"Department of Psychology

The partial support of the Office of Computing ,Activities,
National Science Foundation, under Grant GJ-32258X, is grate-
fully acknowledged.
I

[This page contains 1 picture or other non-text object]

Page 2 of 21

ABSTRACT

    Gestal t psychologists have explained the reduction o f s imul taneous contrast i n the Benussi ring figure as a result o f laws of mental organization. This
study investigated the properties of these laws by studying six variations of
the basic Benussi figure. The six figures varied only with respect to the type
of boundary used to divide the ring o f the Benussi figure. Scales varying along the dimension of degree of simultaneous contrast were derived using the method
of paired comparisons for two viewing conditions. Based on these scales it
was concluded that the Gestalt concept of "good continuation" should be eliminated as a viable hypothesis. An explanation of the phenomenon i s presented based on
an "apparent" separation between parts o f the figure, and the degree of figure- ground symmetry.

[This page contains 1 picture or other non-text object]

Page 3 of 21

Derived scales for degree of simultaneous contrast i n six Benussi ring figures
Nancy S. Anderson, Steven M. Pine, Azriel Rosenfeld

University of Maryland

INTRODUCTION

    
When a gray stimulus ring i s placed on a half black, half white background, the part viewed against a white background w i l l appear darker than the part viewed against a black background. When the gray ring i s bisected by a dark line at the boundary between the black and white regions, the effect i s enhanced. This i s a simultaneous contrast effect and can be explained i n terms of neural inhibition at the retinal level (Ratliff, Hartline, & Miller, 1963). It has been shown that the differences i n excitation are a function of size, luminance of background and test-f ields , and the separation between the f iel ds (Diamond,
1960, 1962; Heinemann, 1955).

    When the gray stimulus ring i s not bisected, it tends to appear uniformly gray despite the effects o f simultaneous contrast. This phenomenon was studied i n some depth by the Gestalt psychologist Koffka (1935). It was Koffka who
named this stimulus arrangement the Benussi ring, after the original investigator o f the effect ( i t i s also referred to as the Koffka ring). He suggested that
the phenomenon could be explained as a higher order mental effect i n terms of laws of mental organization. According to Koffka's First Law of Unit Formation and Segregation (1935, p. 126), proximal stimulation which consists of several different areas of homogenous stimulation organizes such that areas which receive

I

the same stimulation form unitary field parts segrega...