e-book Visual Thought: The Depictive Space of Perception

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These results add new information to the exploration of painting perception and the role of top-down effects on eye-movements.

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Medialness and the Perception of Visual Art

Acta Psychol. Millis, K. Russell, P. Franklin, M. Holsanova, J. In: Albertazzi, L.

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Visual thought: the depictive space of perception, Benjamins Google Scholar. Wallraven, C. Itti, L. If so, at what dimension? Do color and texture influence their appearance? Do points change spatial attitude depth, meeting of lines, position in configurations? Are there expressive points? It is one-dimensional, but has a marginal second dimension: to be phenomenally visible, in fact, it has to possess a certain width.

Do lines have visual location, direction, weight think of chiaroscuro , depth, density are there free lines? Do lines have visual location, direction, weight, depth, density are there free surfaces? Is it necessarily related to grasping motor action? Do visual volumes have location, direction, weight, depth, density think of clouds or fog? Visual primitives are also rarely detachable one from another: for example, how can one detach the visual surface boundary of a volume, such as the red quality spread on the surface of an apple?

When we draw or paint on a canvas, what we are in fact doing is represent, i. Artists are true to nature [Ruskin ], because from a point of view of pure visibility nature itself is an indefinite potential of morphological figurations localized in a space of pulling forces.

Spatial Elements in Visual Awareness. Challenges for an Intrinsic “Geometry” of the Visible

Experimental evidence on the presence or absence of parts in visual points, for example, would be essential information on which to construct a theory of these and other visual spatial primitives. A point can be a marked part of some higher-order object, such as the origin of a line; or it can be unmarked, like an undifferentiated part of a line, or of a crystal clear blue sky without discontinuities of any sort, as in the Ganzfeld [Metzger ].

A point is also a position in space signalled by the arrangement or the structure of other objects, such as the target of an arrow. In both cases, the phenomenal visual points have a form contrarily to [Koffka , chap. In fact, points may be independent from any higher-order object, but not from the ground, which influences their appearance a black point on a white ground and a white point of the same size on a black ground look different ; points require color, and specific dimension to be visually distinguished and distinguishable in the field in which they appear.

Any model considering a point without dimensions, would, under this conceptualization, be wrong. Once these characteristics, have been carefully described, they must be tested experimentally before proceeding to define punctoid as a primitive. Consider the intersection point between lines, the extremes of a line, a point induced by convergent segments separated by a spatial interval; or the tip of an arrow, a cone, an edge, etc.

Points can lie on a ground, a line, a surface or inside or outside a volume: in a cone, for example, a point on the vertex is seen as external, a point on the surface is seen as external, while a point in the lower part is seen either on the base surface of the cone, slightly raised because of transparency, or on the inner surface of the cone. A point may amodally overlap with another point or with a line both externally or internally , and there may be coincidence of boundaries of many overlapping points consider the cone, above.

In stereokinetic cones or ellipses points also overlap in time, changing their localization either in surface or voluminous appearances. There may be amodal points dependent on a texture of points, or induced ones dependent on four converging segments. Points may have directions depending on their irregular borders or on their potentiality to move within the same higher-order object on which they depend, without changing their type i.

There are different degrees of freedom of directions in points as dependent objects. Consider then the midpoint of a disc and its degree of freedom: its centre has full potential movement complete freedom of direction. Finally, the direction of points may have degrees of punctoid i. The color of points as dependent objects, on the other hand, depends on the objects on which they depend, such as the color of the lines to which they belong, or it is influenced by the surface on which they appear.

The visual appearance, location, and meaning of points in space, in fact, depends only on seeing. Only when one has the whole visual grammar of a point is one entitled to look for the definition of a visual point. What is a line?

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When is a line visible? When does a line cease to appear as a line? Do lines have orientation? Do lines change spatial attitude curvature, position of shape in configurations? Are there expressive lines? In fact, visual lines may be independent from any higher-order object; but like points, lines are not independent from the ground, which influences their appearance a black line on a white ground and a white line on a black ground look different ; lines require some other difference in color, and dimension, for example, to be visually distinguishable.

A visual line is an elongated object that must have some minimal thickness to be visible for example, threads, or a differently colored horizon of the sea , and a thick line behaves differently from a thin line. A line can be perceived as such although not drawn, as the continuous prolongation of two converging segments, or as two crossing lines of two converging segments.

Lines have expressive characteristics appearing good or bad, cold or warm, aggressive or calm, quick or slow , relatively to their thickness, density, direction, degrees of freedom in a configuration. In this case, a line can be a marked or unmarked part of some higher-order object e. A line can be a position in space signalled by a suitable arrangement of other objects depending on their distance, context and relative position. In the visual context lines are boundaries of both external surfaces and an inner area. They can also be boundaries of transparent volumes and depth cues as in chiaroscuro.

Lines can have an overlapping of boundaries and parts in higher-order objects, such as surfaces and volumes: in the case of a ball, for example, the circular line that one sees is not a boundary of surfaces but of volumes, and one has virtual lines dependent on the position of the viewer the same holds for an oval disc, or for a small ball moving on a bigger one. In the case of lines as boundaries in higher-order objects with different colors, such as a few quadrants of a disc, one may wonder what the color of the common boundary is, because the figure-ground effect may not apply here: one might see two side-to-side boundaries, or one boundary only, having the color of the visually more salient figure.

1. Introduction

Only experiments can give an answer to these preliminary questions. When surfaces are perceived lying on the same plane, the margin assumes a double function—as a contour enclosing both the surfaces—and the stratification of the two surfaces goes in parallel with the function of the dividing border. Color is a determinant of both surface stratification and the plastic effect in space. If a colored surface overlaps with and partially occludes another differently colored surface, the visual margin separating the two belongs to the former and its contour, while the surface to the rear is perceived amodally as continuing behind the former.

If, on the contrary, the two surfaces are perceived as lying on the same plane, the margin line where the two abut assumes a double function. When one has a perception of stereopsis either through a stereoscope or a physical object , it is because things are scaled to the egocenter.

This can be explained on the basis of the fact that one no longer has the presentation of egocentric scale beyond a certain distance, because egocentric distance becomes very difficult to assess farther and farther away [Vishwanath ].

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  • Surfaces themselves are transparent boundaries of volume appearances, like a quality spread all over them [Alberti ]. The depth quality and plastic effect of the objects in a scene are also fundamental to our perceived quality of realness [Mausfeld ], [Michotte ], [Vishwanath ]. Both paintings and natural scenes show how the realness of visual objects derives to a great extent from appearances made of secondary qualities in extended visual space, such as flat, round, volumetric, soft, luminous, remote, close, graspable, etc.

    They have specific and general properties, and can be individually analysed only as limit cases of independence. A geometry of the visible is the geometry of an act of visual presentation. Standard mathematical geometry is inadequate to account for them, because the primitives of visual space are not merely geometrical projections of retinal stimulation. Indeed, most aspects of the space-time in which those primitives appear are still far from being clearly understood, such as the dynamics of their morphogenesis in presentation, and the kind of continuum to which they pertain [Albertazzi ].


    In a few recent experimentaI studies on organic shapes [Dadam, Albertazzi et al. Furthermore, it has been shown that these spatial patterns are naturally associated with colors [Dadam, Albertazzi et al. Albertazzi, Amsterdam: Benjamins Publishing Company, 29— The Depictive Space of Perception , edited by L. Albertazzi, Amsterdam: Benjamins Publishing Company, 3— Drawing on canvas, in: Visual Thought.

    Albertazzi, Amsterdam: Benjamins Publishing Company, — Seibt, Berlin; New York: Springer, —, doi: Art Beyond the Skin , edited by R. Manzotti, Thorverton: Imprint Academic, 87— Albertazzi, London: Blackwell-Wiley, 1— Albertazzi, London: Blackwell-Wiley, — Albertazzi, G.