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Lower Region

Lower Region

Abstract

Figure-ground assignment is an important visual process; humans recognize, attend to, and act on figures, not backgrounds. There are many visual cues for figure-ground assignment. A new cue to figure-ground assignment, called lower region, is presented: Regions in the lower portion of a stimulus array appear more figurelike than regions in the upper portion of the display. This phenomenon was explored, and it was demonstrated that the lower-region preference is not influenced by contrast, eye movements, or voluntary spatial attention. It was found that the lower region is defined relative to the stimulus display, linking the lower-region preference to pictorial depth perception cues. The results are discussed in terms of the environmental regularities that this new figure-ground cue may reflect.
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