Ontogenesis and Microgenesis of Visual Perceptual Organization

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


One approach to understanding the psychological processes involved in perceptual organization, and the one presented in this chapter, is to study the evolution of perceptual organization in two different time scales: microgenetically (the unfolding of perceptual organization during the act of perception in adult observers) and ontogenetically (the developmental course of perceptual organization). The chapter begins with a brief review of major findings that have emerged from microgenetic research and developmental research on perceptual organization. Next, two series of studies are described that seek to reveal the processes involved in perceptual grouping and individuation in hierarchical organization and grouping of shape by perceptual closure by exploring their microgenesis and ontogenetic development. The findings of these studies are consistent with a view of perceptual organization as a multiplicity of processes that vary in time course, attentional demands, and developmental trajectory. In closing, implications for linking microgenesis and ontogenesis are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCognitive Neuroscience, Development, and Psychopathology
Subtitle of host publicationTypical and Atypical Developmental Trajectories of Attention
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199979066
ISBN (Print)9780195315455
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 by Jacob A. Burack, James T. Enns, and Nathan A. Fox. All rights reserved.


  • Development
  • Hierarchical organization
  • Microgenesis
  • Ontogenesis
  • Perceptual closure
  • Perceptual grouping
  • Perceptual organization
  • Time scales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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