Psychology of seeing

The role of the brain in the perception of visual information

To understand what visual perception is all about, it is not so much the transport of visual information that is of significance. It is rather the process involved in the interpretation of this information, the creation of visual impressions.
The question that arises is whether our ability to perceive the world around us is innate or the result of a learning process. Another point to be considered is whether sensory impressions from outside alone are responsible for the perceived image or whether the brain translates these stimuli into a perceivable image through the application of its own principles of order. There is no clear answer to this question. Perceptual psychology is divided on this point.


Experience, and the expectations linked with it, may be so strong that missing elements of a shape are perceived as complete or individual
details amended to enable the object to meet our expectations. The perception of a shape with missing contours is simply based on shadow formation.

Overall shape

Experience leads us to recognise an overall shape by being able to identify essential details.


This picture illustrates how a colour is matched to the respective pattern perceived. The colour of
the central grey point adjusts itself to the black or white colour in the perceived pattern.

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