The Gestalt Psychologists studied all sorts of perceptual organization--the ways that humans organize information about what they see, hear, etc. What they found was that there are two main visual components necessary for a person to see an object properly; a figure (the object) and the ground (the background or surroundings in which the object occurs). Thus, when you look at a picture on a wall, the picture is the figure and you can distinguish it clearly from its surroundings, the wall (ground).

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