Perception of contours and shapes: low and intermediate stage mechanisms

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152 Citations (Scopus)


This review focuses on low and intermediate stages of contour shape processing. It is split into two main sections, ‘Contour Detection’ and ‘Shape Discrimination and Representation’. The first section examines contrast detection of elements within a contour (“collinear facilitation”) and the detection of contours in noise (“contour integration”). The second section deals with the discrimination and representation of simple and complex shapes. Perceptual effects on contour detection have been linked to low-level, long-range lateral interactions between neighbouring neurons in V1. Experimental results suggest a complex network of interactions that are context dependent, with collinearity being the dominant factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2106-2127
Number of pages22
JournalVision Research
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2008


  • visual perception
  • optics
  • vision sciences


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