Part-based representations of visual shape and implications for visual cognition
Manish Singh and Donald D. Hoffman
Chapter 9 in "From Fragments to Objects: Grouping and Segmentation in Vision,"
T. F. Shipley & P. J. Kellman (Eds.), pp. 401-459 (2001). Elsevier Science.
Human vision organizes object shapes in terms of parts and their spatial relationships. Converging experimental evidence suggests that parts are computed rapidly and early in visual processing. We review theories of how human vision parses shapes. In particular, we discuss the minima rule for finding part boundaries on shapes, geometric factors for creating part cuts, and a theory of part salience. We review empirical evidence that human vision parses shapes into parts, and show that parts-based representations explain various aspects of our visual cognition, including figure-ground assignment, judgments of shape similarity, memory for shapes, visual search for shapes, the perception of transparency, and the allocation of visual attention to objects.