Gaetano Kanizsa (1979) Organization in Vision. Praeger, New York.

Forward (Paolo Legrenzi & Paolo Bozzi)

In the world of research, the prevalent experimental method consists of a set of controlled operations determined by hypotheses suggested by theoretical models. The chain "model - verification - correction of the model - reverification -..." is the basic structure ... for progress in science. However ... this method occasionally produces results entirely irrelevant to people with larger concerns... At times it becomes necessary to break this paradigmatic circle and to seek the natural, primary source of the phenomena: the visual experience of ordinary seeing. Although the researchers who enjoy this way of exploring are not very numerous, in the past a great part of fruitful psychological research developed in this fashion.


The problem that continually tends to be overlooked is that of the formation of those "primary units" to which the inferential activity of the cognitive process can apply.


The primary process cannot be considered a passive, mechanical recording of distant stimuli, but consists of an organization of proximal stimulation ... transforming an unrelated set of elements ... into a certain number of segregated units with precise spatial and temporal relationships.


The optical system always fills gaps, goes beyond the information given through perceptual interpolation. This must be considered not simply as an interesting phenomenon, curious or worthy of note, but on the contrary, as a norm of visual perception, a universal fact that happens every time we find ourselves in front of a field organized as figure and background...

"Gestalt ought to be translated as "organized structure" as distinguished from "aggregate", "heap", or simple "summation". Orderly, rule governed, nonrandom."