We investigated how the electrophysiological signature of contour integration is changed by the context in which a contour is embedded. Specifically, we manipulated the orientations of Gabor elements surrounding an embedded shape outline. The amplitudes of early visual components over posterior scalp regions were changed by the presence of a contour, and by the orientation of elements surrounding the contour. Differences in context type had an effect on the early P1 and N1 components, but not on the later P2 component. The presence of a contour had an effect on the N1 and P2 components, but not on the earlier P1 component. A modulatory effect of context on contour integration was observed on the N1 component. These results highlight the importance of the context in which contour integration takes place.
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