Humans naturally perceive visual patterns in a global manner and are remarkably capable of extracting object shapes based on properties such as proximity, closure, symmetry, and good continuation. Notwithstanding the role of these properties in perceptual grouping, studies highlighted differences in disembedding performance across individuals, which are summarized by the field dependence dimension. Evidence suggests that age and educational attainment explain part of this variability, whereas the role of sex is still highly debated. Also, which stimulus features primarily influence inter-individual variations in perceptual grouping has still to be fully determined. Building upon these premises, we assessed the role of age, education level, and sex on performance at the Leuven Embedded Figure Test—a proxy of disembedding abilities—in 391 cisgender individuals. We also investigated to what extent shape symmetry, closure, complexity, and continuation relate to task accuracy. Overall, target asymmetry, closure, and good continuation with the embedding context increase task difficulty. Simpler shapes are more difficult to detect than those with more lines, yet context complexity impairs the recognition of complex targets (i.e., those with 6 lines or more) to a greater extent. Concerning demographic data, we confirm that age and educational attainment are significantly associated with disembedding abilities and reveal a perceptual advantage in males. In summary, our study further highlights the role of shape properties in disembedding performance and unveils sex differences not reported so far.

The contribution of shape features and demographic variables to disembedding abilities

Elisa Morgana Cappello;Giada Lettieri;Giacomo Handjaras;Nicola Lattanzi;Emiliano Ricciardi;Luca Cecchetti
2021-01-01

Abstract

Humans naturally perceive visual patterns in a global manner and are remarkably capable of extracting object shapes based on properties such as proximity, closure, symmetry, and good continuation. Notwithstanding the role of these properties in perceptual grouping, studies highlighted differences in disembedding performance across individuals, which are summarized by the field dependence dimension. Evidence suggests that age and educational attainment explain part of this variability, whereas the role of sex is still highly debated. Also, which stimulus features primarily influence inter-individual variations in perceptual grouping has still to be fully determined. Building upon these premises, we assessed the role of age, education level, and sex on performance at the Leuven Embedded Figure Test—a proxy of disembedding abilities—in 391 cisgender individuals. We also investigated to what extent shape symmetry, closure, complexity, and continuation relate to task accuracy. Overall, target asymmetry, closure, and good continuation with the embedding context increase task difficulty. Simpler shapes are more difficult to detect than those with more lines, yet context complexity impairs the recognition of complex targets (i.e., those with 6 lines or more) to a greater extent. Concerning demographic data, we confirm that age and educational attainment are significantly associated with disembedding abilities and reveal a perceptual advantage in males. In summary, our study further highlights the role of shape properties in disembedding performance and unveils sex differences not reported so far.
disembedding abilities, embedded figures, visual perceptual abilities, gender, education, shape features, shape symmetry, shape closure
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
fpsyg-13-798871.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione Editoriale (PDF)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 614.31 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
614.31 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11771/21778
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
social impact