Filling in the voids

Haley Bridger, December 1st, 2010 | Filed under
  • The Kanizsa triangle illustrates how
    our mind can fill in contours that do
    not actually exist.
    Image from Bang Wong's column

Our brains are adept at using visual cues to fill in missing information and make continuous shapes out of discrete pieces. For instance, in an illusion known as the Kanizsa triangle, three ‘Pac-Man’ shapes form what appears to be a triangle as our mind fills in a shape that isn’t actually there. In his latest Points of View column in Nature Methods, the Broad Institute’s creative director Bang Wong describes ways scientists can use graphics and text to play off of these principles of visual completion and continuity. To find out how, read the full column here.

Bang's monthly feature column began in Nature Methods in August 2010. You can find part 1 of “Gestalt Principles” here.