But there are a number of other underlying psychological concepts relating to perception that inform our understanding of Gestalt theory (which goes beyond perception to describe visual relationships). Let’s briefly go over a few of these: Black and white image of a snowflake Emergence means that we see the whole shape before the small details. Image via Wikimedia Commons Black and white images of negative space Reification means that we see the shapes that aren’t there. Image via Wikimedia Commons Black and white images showing the same shape skewed and distorted multiple times Invariance means that we recognize the same shape in spite of distortions. Image via Wikimedia Commons A black and white image of Rubin Vase Metastability
means that we see all possible interpretations of an ambiguous image simultaneously. Image via Wikimedia Commons Black and white silhouette of a woman Figure-ground organization means that we separate image subjects into foreground and background even when the image does not appear three dimensional. Image via Wikimedia Commons Black and white image showing a picnic table icon Past experience means that we can interpret this image as a picnic table even though we could see an abstract triangle. Image via Wikimedia Commons Emergence: The entire form of an object is understood first before its individual parts. Reification: The eye has a tendency to fill in gaps and create forms even without explicit details. For example, negative space design is built around creating forms out of gaps, such as the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo. Invariance: People recognize similar forms in spite of variations such as color, scale, rotation, or weight.