Influence of past experience on perceptual grouping

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We used primed matching to examine the microgenesis of perceptual organization for familiar (upright letters) and unfamiliar (inverted letters) visual configurations that varied in the connectedness between their line components. The configurations of upright letters were available for priming as early as 40 ms, irrespective of connectedness between their line components. The configurations of connected inverted-letter primes were also available this early, but the configurations of disconnected inverted letters were not available until later. These results show that past experience contributes to the early grouping of disconnected line segments into configurations. These findings suggest an interactive model of perceptual organization in which both image-based properties (e.g., connectedness) and input from object memories contribute to perceptual organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported partly by a grant from the Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius ZEIT Foundation, and partly by the Max Wertheimer Minerva Center for Cognitive Processes and Human Performance, University of Haifa. We are indebted to Yaffa Lev for programming the experiments, and to Walter Gerbino, James Elder, Marlene Behrmann, David Navon, and Irene Apfeld for their helpful comments.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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