Reports

A new perceptual context-superiority effect: line segments are more visible against a figure than against a ground

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Science  05 Nov 1982:
Vol. 218, Issue 4572, pp. 587-589
DOI: 10.1126/science.7123261

Abstract

Context, specifically the perceived figure or ground of an ambiguous form that surrounds a diagonal line segment, can influence the discrimination of that line segment even though the physical attributes of the context remain the same during figure-ground reversals. When the line segment was flashed on a region of the form seen as figure, discrimination was twice as accurate as when the line segment was flashed in isolation, and it was at least three times as accurate as when the line segment was flashed on that same region seen as ground.