Neural substrates for visual perceptual grouping in humans

Shihui Han, Yan Song, Yulong Ding, E. William Yund, David L Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Two experiments investigated the neural mechanisms of Gestalt grouping by recording high-density event-related brain potentials (ERPs) during discrimination tasks. In Experiment 1, stimulus arrays contained luminance-defined local elements that were either evenly spaced or grouped into columns or rows based on either proximity or similarity of shape. Proximity grouping was indexed by a short-latency positivity (110-120 ms) over the medial occipital cortex and a subsequent right occipitoparietal negativity. Grouping by similarity was reflected only in a long-latency occipitotemporal negativity. In Experiment 2, proximity grouping was examined when local elements were defined by motion cues, and was again associated with a medial occipital positivity. However, the subsequent long-latency negativity was now enhanced over the left posterior areas. The implications of these results to the neural substrates subserving different grouping processes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)926-935
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Cortex
  • Event-related potentials
  • Gestalt
  • Grouping
  • Proximity
  • Similarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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