Principles of contour information: Reply to Lim and Leek (2012)

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6 Scopus citations


Lim and Leek (2012) presented a formalization of information along object contours, which they argued was an alternative to the approach taken in our article (Feldman & Singh, 2005). Here, we summarize the 2 approaches, showing that-notwithstanding Lim and Leek's (2012) critical rhetoric-their approach is substantially identical to ours, except for the technical details of the formalism. Following the logic of our article point by point, Lim and Leek (a) defined probabilistic expectations about the geometry of smooth contours (which they based on differential contour geometry, while we used a discrete approximation-the only essential difference in their approach), (b) assumed that information along the contour was proportional to the negative logarithm of probability, following standard information theory, and then (c) extended this formulation to closed contours. We analyze what they described as errors in our approach, all of which rest on mathematical misunderstandings or bizarre misreadings of our article. We also show that their extension to 3-dimensional surfaces and their "modified minima rule" contain fatal deficiencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-683
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


  • Curvature
  • Information theory
  • Minima rule
  • Shape perception
  • Visual contours

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