Perceptual organization and visual awareness: the case of amodal completion

Ruth Kimchi, Dina Devyatko, Shahar Sabary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the involvement of visual awareness in amodal completion, and specifically, whether visual awareness plays a differential role in local versus global completion, using a primed shape discrimination paradigm and the color-opponent flicker technique to render the prime invisible. In four experiments, participants discriminated the shape of a target preceded by a partly occluded or a neutral prime. All primes were divergent occlusion patterns in which the local completion is based on good continuation of the contours at the point of occlusion and the global completion is based on maximum symmetry. The target corresponded to the shape that could arise as a result of local or global completion of the occluded prime. For each experiment with an invisible prime we conducted a version with a visible prime. Our results suggest that local completion, but not global completion, of a partly occluded shape can take place in the absence of visual awareness, but apparently only when the visible occluded shape generates a single, local completion. No completion, either local or global, appears to take place in the absence of visual awareness when the visible occluded shape generates multiple completions. The implications of these results to the differential role of visual awareness in local and global completions and to the relationship between multiple completions and unconscious amodal completions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1201681
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Kimchi, Devyatko and Sabary.


  • amodal completion
  • color-opponent flicker (COF)
  • global completion
  • good continuation
  • local completion
  • perceptual organization
  • symmetry
  • visual awareness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology

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