PERCEPTUAL GROUPING PROCESSES AND FIGURE GROUND IN NEWS GATHERING AND MEDIA PRODUCTION
Perceptual grouping is often viewed as the tendency of the visual system to simplify a scene into the main object that one is looking at, and everything else that forms the background. It is embedded in the concept of figure ground, which is one of the core Gestalt elements and is often described as the ability to filter unimportant visual information so that the viewer can focus on the relevant part of the visual environment. Figure ground is valuable especially if one is seeking to extract important visual information from a very busy background. The perceptual process involves a number of stages which include the environmental stimulus, attended stimulus, image on the retina, transduction, neural processsing, perception, recognition and action.
This paper is anchored on Gestalt theory propounded by members of the Berlin School. Gestalt theory flows from two psychological backgrounds of structuralism and behaviourism. While structuralism perceives the world subjectively, behaviourism is concerned with objective behaviour. The study also examines the various principles or laws of perception, traditional information processing theories of visual perception, object recognition and representation that occur early in the process. Moreover, it explores the application of the concept for effectiveness in the mass media and communication environment.
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