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Texture laciness: The texture equivalent of transparency?

Four experiments with 9 observers examined overlapping textures to determine when combined textures create a new 3rd region and when they still appear as 2 distinct but overlapping textures (i.e., texture laciness [TL]). TL occurred more strongly with decreasing similarity between elements of 2 textures. Also, when elements of the 2 textures were the same, the overlapped area tended to appear as a new texture. The physical overlapping of the individual elements of 2 textures hindered texture decomposition irrespective of relative positioning. Thus, textures inducing TL may be processed as surfaces rather than just collections of identical elements. TL also reveals that even if shapes of the spaces between texture elements are destroyed by positioning another set of texture elements in the spaces, the textures can remain sufficiently identifiable to be perceived as separate. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)