Cortical Synchronization Mechanism for “Pop-Out” of Salient Image Contours

  • Shih-Cheng Yen
  • Leif H. Finkel


We present a model based on long-range intra-cortical connections which computes the salience of contours in a visual scene. The model accounts for a number of psycho-physical and physiological results on contour salience, and provides a mechanism for several of the Gestalt laws of perceptual organization. In the model, cells lying on smooth contours facilitate each other, and strongly facilitated cells enter a “bursting” model. Horizontal connections allow bursting cells to synchronize, and perceptual salience is defined by the level of synchronized activity. In particular, we propose that the intrinsic properties of synchronization account for the increased salience of smooth, closed contours


Contrast Sensitivity Closed Contour Perceptual Salience Horizontal Connection Oriented Cell 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shih-Cheng Yen
    • 1
  • Leif H. Finkel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Bioengineering and Institute of Neurological SciencesUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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