Pinna B, Sirigu L, 2011, "The accentuation principle of visual organization and the illusion of musical suspension" Perception 40 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 169
The accentuation principle of visual organization and the illusion of musical suspension
B Pinna, L Sirigu
The aim of this work is to demonstrate a new principle of grouping and shape formation that we called the accentuation principle. This states that, all else being equal, elements tend to group in the same oriented direction as any discontinous elements located within a whole set of continuous/homogeneous components. The discontinuous element is like an accent, ie a visual emphasis within a whole. We showed that this principle is independent from other gestalt principles. In fact, it shows vectorial properties not present in the other principles. It can be pitted against them. Furthermore, it is not only a grouping principle but it also influences shape formation, by inducing effects like the square/diamond and the rectangle illusions. Finally, the accentuation operates under stroboscopic conditions and manifests filling-in properties and long range effects. Through experimental phenomenology, it was shown that the accentuation principle can influence grouping and shape formation not only in space but also in time and, therefore, not only in vision but also in music perception. This was suggested by phenomenally linking visual and musical accents and by demonstrating a new illusion of musical suspension, related with its opposite effect, the downbeat illusion. This kind of illusions can be appreciated in two Debussy and Chopin solo piano compositions, "Rêverie and Nocturne", op.27 n.1. Variations in the note where the accent is placed and in the kind of accent demonstrate their basic role in inducing the illusion of musical suspension.
[Supported by Finanziamento della Regione Autonoma della Sardegna, ai sensi della L.R. 7 agosto 2007, n. 7, Fondo d’Ateneo (ex 60%)]
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