Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We report results from six experiments in which participants had to search for a "C" among "O" distractors. The search items were either holes or objects, defined by motion, contrast, or both. Our main findings were (1) it was easier to search among objects than to search among holes, and (2) the difference between search among objects and search among holes was primarily caused by grouping with the background. The data support the hypothesis that the shape of a hole is only available indirectly. We further note that, in our experiments, search performance for both holes and objects depended on the surface medium used to define the search items.

Original publication




Journal article


Percept Psychophys

Publication Date





469 - 482


Exploratory Behavior, Female, Fixation, Ocular, Humans, Male, Motion Perception, Visual Perception