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October 1961

Perceptual Closure in Acute Paranoid Schizophrenics

Author Affiliations

Junior Student, Georgetown University Medical School.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(4):406-410. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710160086010

The term, "perceptual closure," refers to a tendency to complete what is incompletely presented in the visual field in order that as "good" or complete a figure as possible be perceived. This tendency has been well demonstrated in normal subjects (S's) presented with geometric stimulus forms (Gibson,4 Hempstead,5 Tiernan,15 and Siedenfield10). More recently the term has been expanded such that Drever's definition of closure2 refers to an all embracing function "by means of which percepts, memories, actions attain stability." Thurstone, in a factorial analysis of perception14 distinguished 3 usages of the term: "(a) when what appears to be unrelated and unorganized suddenly appears as a meaningfully related whole; (b) when a part of the presented items are suddenly perceived as a unity and the remaining parts are perceptually discarded; and (c) when a good configuration has to be destroyed

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