In this study, the authors use a novel eye-tracking technology to determine how viewing behavior complies with Wertheimer’s descriptions of Gestalt principles of similarity, proximity, continuation and closure. The results show that viewers respond predictably to most Gestalt principles and that there are nuances to note when it comes to better understanding the role of visual attention in the closure principle and competing principles. In addition, the results reveal a fundamental distinction between visual attention and visual perception. By grasping this critical difference between attention and perception, designers may become more successful in applying Gestalt principles to their design.

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