Gestalt’s

27 08 2009
The theory of Gestalt or gestaltism (German: Gestalt – “shape” or “figure”) of the Berlin School is a theory of mind and brain positing that the operational principle of the brain is holistic, parallel, and analog, with self-organizing tendencies, or that the whole is different from the sum of its parts. The Gestalt effect refers to the form-forming capability of our senses, particularly with respect to the visual recognition of figures and whole forms instead of just a collection of simple lines and curves. In psychology, gestaltism is often opposed to structuralism and Wundt. Often times, the phrase “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” is used when explaining Gestalt theory.
Framework
The investigations developed at the beginning of the 20th century, based on traditional scientific methodology, divided the object of study into a set of elements that could be analyzed separately with the objective of reducing the complexity of this object. Contrary to this methodology, the school of Gestalt practiced a series of theoretical and methodological principles that attempted to redefine the approach to psychological research.
The theoretical principles are the following:
Principle of Totality – The conscious experience must be considered globally (by taking into account all the physical and mental aspects of the individual simultaneously) because the nature of the mind demands that each component be considered as part of a system of dynamic relationships.
Principle of psychophysical isomorphism – A correlation exists between conscious experience and cerebral activity.
Based on the principles above the following methodological principles are defined:
Phenomenon Experimental Analysis – In relation to the Totality Principle any psychological research should take as a starting point phenomena and not be solely focused on sensory qualities.
Biotic Experiment – The School of Gestalt established a need to conduct real experiments which sharply contrasted with and opposed classic laboratory experiments. This signified experimenting in natural situations, developed in real conditions, in which it would be possible to reproduce, with higher fidelity, what would be habitual for a subject.
Properties
The key principles of Gestalt systems are emergence, reification, multistability and invariance
Emergence
This is demonstrated by the perception of the Dog Picture, which depicts a Dalmatian dog sniffing the ground in the shade of overhanging trees. The dog is not recognized by first identifying its parts (feet, ears, nose, tail, etc.), and then inferring the dog from those component parts. Instead, the dog is perceived as a whole, all at once. However, this is a description of what occurs in vision and not an explanation. Gestalt theory does not explain how the percept of a dog emerges.
Reification
This  is the constructive or generative aspect of perception, by which the experienced percept contains more explicit spatial information than the sensory stimulus on which it is based.
For instance, a triangle will be perceived in picture A, although no triangle has actually been drawn. In pictures B and D the eye will recognize disparate shapes as “belonging” to a single shape, in C a complete three-dimensional shape is seen, where in actuality no such thing is drawn.
Reification can be explained by progress in the study of illusory contours, which are treated by the visual system as “real” contours.
Multistability
Or multistable perception is the tendency of ambiguous perceptual experiences to pop back and forth unstably between two or more alternative interpretations. This is seen for example in the Necker cube, and in Rubin’s Figure / Vase illusion shown to the left. Other examples include the ‘three-pronged widget’ and artist M. C. Escher’s artwork and the appearance of flashing marquee lights moving first one direction and then suddenly the other. Again, Gestalt does not explain how images appear multistable, only that they do.
Invariance
The property of perception whereby simple geometrical objects are recognized independent of rotation, translation, and scale; as well as several other variations such as elastic deformations, different lighting, and different component features. For example, the objects in A in the figure are all immediately recognized as the same basic shape, which are immediately distinguishable from the forms in B. They are even recognized despite perspective and elastic deformations as in C, and when depicted using different graphic elements as in D. Computational theories of vision, such as those by David Marr, have had more success in explaining how objects are classified.
Prägnanz
The fundamental principle of gestalt perception is the law of prägnanz (German for pithiness) which says that we tend to order our experience in a manner that is regular, orderly, symmetric, and simple. Gestalt psychologists attempt to discover refinements of the law of prägnanz, and this involves writing down laws which hypothetically allow us to predict the interpretation of sensation, what are often called “gestalt laws, These include:
Law of Closure — The mind may experience elements it does not perceive through sensation, in order to complete a regular figure (that is, to increase regularity).
Law of Similarity — The mind groups similar elements into collective entities or totalities. This similarity might depend on relationships of form, color, size, or brightness.
Law of Proximity — Spatial or temporal proximity of elements may induce the mind to perceive a collective or totality.
Law of Symmetry (Figure ground relationships)— Symmetrical images are perceived collectively, even in spite of distance.
Law of Continuity — The mind continues visual, auditory, and kinetic patterns.
Law of Common Fate — Elements with the same moving direction are perceived as a collective or unit.
It’s a play with the view and perception, much like a positive negative figure or more of an elemental contrast

The theory of Gestalt or gestaltism (German: Gestalt – “shape” or “figure”) of the Berlin School is a theory of mind and brain positing that the operational principle of the brain is holistic, parallel, and analog, with self-organizing tendencies, or that the whole is different from the sum of its parts. The Gestalt effect refers to the form-forming capability of our senses, particularly with respect to the visual recognition of figures and whole forms instead of just a collection of simple lines and curves. In psychology, gestaltism is often opposed to structuralism and Wundt. Often times, the phrase “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” is used when explaining Gestalt theory.

Framework

The investigations developed at the beginning of the 20th century, based on traditional scientific methodology, divided the object of study into a set of elements that could be analyzed separately with the objective of reducing the complexity of this object. Contrary to this methodology, the school of Gestalt practiced a series of theoretical and methodological principles that attempted to redefine the approach to psychological research.

The theoretical principles are the following:

Principle of Totality – The conscious experience must be considered globally (by taking into account all the physical and mental aspects of the individual simultaneously) because the nature of the mind demands that each component be considered as part of a system of dynamic relationships.

Principle of psychophysical isomorphism – A correlation exists between conscious experience and cerebral activity.

Based on the principles above the following methodological principles are defined:

Phenomenon Experimental Analysis – In relation to the Totality Principle any psychological research should take as a starting point phenomena and not be solely focused on sensory qualities.

Biotic Experiment – The School of Gestalt established a need to conduct real experiments which sharply contrasted with and opposed classic laboratory experiments. This signified experimenting in natural situations, developed in real conditions, in which it would be possible to reproduce, with higher fidelity, what would be habitual for a subject.

Properties

The key principles of Gestalt systems are emergence, reification, multistability and invariance

Emergence

Emergence

This is demonstrated by the perception of the Dog Picture, which depicts a Dalmatian dog sniffing the ground in the shade of overhanging trees. The dog is not recognized by first identifying its parts (feet, ears, nose, tail, etc.), and then inferring the dog from those component parts. Instead, the dog is perceived as a whole, all at once. However, this is a description of what occurs in vision and not an explanation. Gestalt theory does not explain how the percept of a dog emerges.

Reification

Reification

This  is the constructive or generative aspect of perception, by which the experienced percept contains more explicit spatial information than the sensory stimulus on which it is based.

For instance, a triangle will be perceived in picture A, although no triangle has actually been drawn. In pictures B and D the eye will recognize disparate shapes as “belonging” to a single shape, in C a complete three-dimensional shape is seen, where in actuality no such thing is drawn.

Reification can be explained by progress in the study of illusory contours, which are treated by the visual system as “real” contours.

Multistability

744px-Multistability.svg

Or multistable perception is the tendency of ambiguous perceptual experiences to pop back and forth unstably between two or more alternative interpretations. This is seen for example in the Necker cube, and in Rubin’s Figure / Vase illusion shown to the left. Other examples include the ‘three-pronged widget’ and artist M. C. Escher’s artwork and the appearance of flashing marquee lights moving first one direction and then suddenly the other. Again, Gestalt does not explain how images appear multistable, only that they do.

Invariance

Invariance c

The property of perception whereby simple geometrical objects are recognized independent of rotation, translation, and scale; as well as several other variations such as elastic deformations, different lighting, and different component features. For example, the objects in A in the figure are all immediately recognized as the same basic shape, which are immediately distinguishable from the forms in B. They are even recognized despite perspective and elastic deformations as in C, and when depicted using different graphic elements as in D. Computational theories of vision, such as those by David Marr, have had more success in explaining how objects are classified

Prägnanz

The fundamental principle of gestalt perception is the law of prägnanz (German for pithiness) which says that we tend to order our experience in a manner that is regular, orderly, symmetric, and simple. Gestalt psychologists attempt to discover refinements of the law of prägnanz, and this involves writing down laws which hypothetically allow us to predict the interpretation of sensation, what are often called “gestalt laws, These include:

Law of Closure — The mind may experience elements it does not perceive through sensation, in order to complete a regular figure (that is, to increase regularity).

Gestalt_ley_de_cierre

Law of Similarity — The mind groups similar elements into collective entities or totalities. This similarity might depend on relationships of form, color, size, or brightness.

Gestalt_ley_de_semejanza

Law of Proximity — Spatial or temporal proximity of elements may induce the mind to perceive a collective or totality.

Gestalt_ley_de_proximidad

Law of Symmetry (Figure ground relationships)— Symmetrical images are perceived collectively, even in spite of distance.

Law of Continuity — The mind continues visual, auditory, and kinetic patterns.

Law of Common Fate — Elements with the same moving direction are perceived as a collective or unit.

It’s a play with the view and perception, much like a positive negative figure or more of an elemental contrast. . .

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2 responses

4 09 2009
Personalized Gifts Make For Truly Personal Mementos | Online Dating Advice

[…] Gestalt's « Architecture Hell […]

5 09 2009
ChrisPark

Hello. My name is Chris. I’m from USA. I’m new to this forum, i was hoping you could maybe teach me some stuff.

This is me-> http://lmageshack.us/img/chrisP.jpg – Just so you know who i am! feel free to post your own photos. Allways best to know who you talk to!

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