Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Ronald A. CohenEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1352


Visual integration; Visual synthesis


Visual closure refers to the ability to perceive and recognize objects, shapers, features, or symbols from incomplete or degraded visual stimuli. It reflects the capacity of humans to fill in missing information from incomplete sensory input to achieve a meaningful percept.

Historical Perspective

The principle of visual closure had its roots in Gestalt psychology (Ellis 1938; Harlow 1938; Köhler 1929). Gestalt psychology theorized that operationally brain functions (i.e., perception and cognition) are holistic consisting of analog processes that occur in a parallel manner and are self-organizing. This led to the well-known conclusion regarding perception, and cognition more generally, that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Based on this framework, all perceptual processes act to achieve optimal organization and reconciliation with the objects that are being perceived. A critical principle driving Gestalt...

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References and Readings

  1. Ellis, W. D. (1938). A source book of Gestalt psychology. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Health PsychologyCollege of Public Health and Health Professions, University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Cognitive Aging and MemoryMcKnight Brain Institute, University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA