Auditory and Visual Segmentation

Stephen Handel

in Perceptual Coherence

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780195169645
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199786732 | DOI:
 Auditory and Visual Segmentation

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The proximal stimulation at ear and eye is neutral, the excitations from different sources are intermixed, and the excitations can be organized in several ways to yield different percepts. The Gestalt psychologists proposed laws of organization due to cortical field forces that acted to knit the visual excitations into continuous enclosed objects. The resulting objects were described as the “simplest” possible, termed prägnanz, although prägnanz was never clearly defined. Similar laws of organization have been proposed for auditory excitation. The most important is onset synchrony, namely auditory excitations that start at the same time are assumed to come from one source. When there is simultaneous auditory and visual excitation, the normal unity assumption is that both excitations come from the same source. If there is a conflict in the two excitations, the compellingness and reliability of the excitations will determine how each is weighted in importance.

Keywords: auditory organization; cue compellingness; cue reliability; Gestalt laws; onset synchrony; prägnanz; unity assumption

Chapter.  18822 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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