Date of Award

Spring 6-2-2022

Document Type

Thesis (Undergraduate)

Department or Program

Cognitive Science

First Advisor

Jonathan Phillips

Second Advisor

Viola Störmer


How do cognitive and perceptual load affect the way we experience the world when the visual scene is incomplete or partially occluded? The present study seeks to answer this question with a series of experiments based on primed matching, amodal completion, and load theory. In Experiment 1, we replicated results that amodal completion is automatic and supports multiple possible completions. In Experiment 2, we found that working memory load decreases the priming effects of both partially occluded and fully visible shapes. In Experiment 3, we found that perceptual load decreases the priming effect of partially occluded shapes more so than that of unoccluded shapes. In general, perceptual load differentially interferes with amodal completion. We conclude that amodal completion of multiple possibilities occurs serially and that these completions are most differently represented early on in the perceptual processing stream from those of unoccluded shapes.