Geoffrey M. Boynton, UW Department of Psychology
Bjorn Hubert-Wallander, UW Department of Psychology
Why do some visual stimuli look random and others more like a pattern? Conventional wisdom suggests that repeating, alternating, or symmetrical arrangements of features play a role in the perception of a pattern, but this evidence is often subjective and anecdotal. We aimed to more precisely characterize the factors that lead to the perception of randomness and pattern-ness starting with a simple set of visual stimuli: five-element sequences of horizontal and vertical Gabor patches arranged in a vertical column.