Visual noise consisting of X-junctions has only a minimal adverse effect on object recognition

  • Eshed Margalit
  • Sarah B. Herald
  • Emily X. Meschke
  • Isabel Irawan
  • Rafael Maarek
  • Irving BiedermanEmail author


In 1968, Guzman showed that the myriad of surfaces composing a highly complex and novel assemblage of volumes can readily be assigned to their appropriate volumes in terms of the constraints offered by the vertices of coterminating edges. Of particular importance was the L-vertex, produced by the cotermination of two contours, which provides strong evidence for the termination of a 2-D surface. An X-junction, formed by the crossing of two contours without a change of direction at the crossing, played no role in the segmentation of a scene. If the potency of noise elements to affect recognition performance reflects their relevancy to the segmentation of scenes, as was suggested by Guzman, gaps in an object’s contours bounded by irrelevant X-junctions would be expected to have little or no adverse effect on shape-based object recognition, whereas gaps bounded by L-junctions would be expected to have a strong deleterious effect when they disrupt the smooth continuation of contours. Guzman’s roles for the various vertices and junctions have never been put to systematic test with respect to human object recognition. By adding identical noise contours to line drawings of objects that produced either L-vertices or X-junctions, these shape features could be compared with respect to their disruption of object recognition. Guzman’s insights that irrelevant L-vertices should be highly disruptive and irrelevant X-vertices would have only a minimal deleterious effect were confirmed.


Perceptual organization Shape perception Vertices Nonaccidental properties 


Open Practice Statement

The data have been deposited in the Open Science Framework,


This research was funded by the Dornsife Research Fund.

Supplementary material

13414_2019_1840_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eshed Margalit
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sarah B. Herald
    • 1
    • 3
  • Emily X. Meschke
    • 1
  • Isabel Irawan
    • 1
  • Rafael Maarek
    • 4
  • Irving Biederman
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Program in NeuroscienceUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Neuroscience Graduate ProgramStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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