Perception and Saccades during Figure-Ground Segregation and Border-Ownership Discrimination in Natural Contours

Nobuhiko WAGATSUMA  Mika URABE  Ko SAKAI  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E103-D   No.5   pp.1126-1134
Publication Date: 2020/05/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2019EDP7020
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Biocybernetics, Neurocomputing
Keyword: 
eye movements,  border-ownership,  figure-ground segregation,  grouping,  visual perception,  

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Summary: 
Figure-ground (FG) segregation has been considered as a fundamental step towards object recognition. We explored plausible mechanisms that estimate global figure-ground segregation from local image features by investigating the human visual system. Physiological studies have reported border-ownership (BO) selective neurons in V2 which signal the local direction of figure (DOF) along a border; however, how local BO signals contribute to global FG segregation has not been clarified. The BO and FG processing could be independent, dependent on each other, or inseparable. The investigation on the differences and similarities between the BO and FG judgements is important for exploring plausible mechanisms that enable global FG estimation from local clues. We performed psychophysical experiments that included two different tasks each of which focused on the judgement of either BO or FG. The perceptual judgments showed consistency between the BO and FG determination while a longer distance in gaze movement was observed in FG segregation than BO discrimination. These results suggest the involvement of distinct neural mechanism for local BO determination and global FG segregation.