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October 1956

Ability to Discover Hidden Figures After Cerebral Lesions

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;76(4):369-379. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330280027003

Introduction  One of the universal aspects of perception is its selectivity. At any time, the sensory field is segregated into parts which acquire dominance for behavior and other parts which function as relatively indifferent background. Yet little is known of the physiologic basis for such selectivity. It is not limited to human perception, but appears in other mammals (Lashley,30 Klüver,24 Köhler26), in birds (Carrick,6 Sumner,41 Young58), in fish (Herter,* Schaller39), and perhaps even in higher invertebrates (Boycott,5 von Frisch,9 Ilse19).Rubin38 and the early Gestalt psychologists (Wertheimer,54 Köhler,27 Koffka25) have investigated one set of factors that determine what part of a sensory field will be selected as "figure" and what parts will tend to become "ground." These field factors, too, are surprisingly independent of structural differences in the perceiver's nervous system. Many figures that stand out

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