Perceiving is a “best estimate” based on the sensory signals transformed by receptors, modified by top-down neural control processes, context, past experience, and expectations. Sensations must be grouped in space and time at multiple levels to perceive objects and sources moving at different speeds and trajectories. Making this problem more difficult, the spatial and temporal levels affect each other. Based on research on face and singer recognition, it appears to be very difficult to create transformations that connect different images of the same face, or different song notes from the same singer. In the end, Handel is drawn to a conceptualization similar to that of Johansson (Percept Psychophys 14:201–211, 1973) in which the lower levels strip away the common parts leaving the higher-level unique parts as the figure.
- Behrmann, M., Richler, J., Avidan, G., & Kimchi, R. (2015). Holistic face perception. In J. Wagemans (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of perceptual organization (pp. 758–774). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar