Subjective contours are perceived edges of surfaces in locations where there is no physical contour in the image. They cannot be regarded as a general neural filling-in process because they only occur as the edges of apparently occluding surfaces (surfaces in a scene that hide other surfaces or contours). This chapter shows how subjective contours are elicited by contextual evidence for surface stratification especially by “inducers” that signal in various ways that they are occluded in the location where the subjective contour appears. This can be two-dimensional information about figure shapes and alignments or three-dimensional information about depth relationships.
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