Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Local figure-ground cues are valid for natural images.


Figure-ground organization refers to the visual perception that a contour separating two regions belongs to one of the regions. Recent studies have found neural correlates of figure-ground assignment in V2 as early as 10-25 ms after response onset, providing strong support for the role of local bottom-up processing. How much information about figure-ground assignment is available from locally computed cues? Using a large collection of natural images, in which neighboring regions were assigned a figure-ground relation by human observers, we quantified the extent to which figural regions locally tend to be smaller, more convex, and lie below ground regions. Our results suggest that these Gestalt cues are ecologically valid, and we quantify their relative power. We have also developed a simple bottom-up computational model of figure-ground assignment that takes image contours as input. Using parameters fit to natural image statistics, the model is capable of matching human-level performance when scene context limited.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View