eli5: How come our eyes immediately think the Scottish flag as white stripes instead of blue triangles? How come this occurs for some images and for others it doesn’t (like the flag of england?)


[Click here to see the flag](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Scotland#/media/File:Flag_of_Scotland.svg)

In: 63

You see the flag of England as white rectangles?


Triangles are relatively uncommon in nature. Stripes and straight things are very common. Your brain is picking this up as white on blue because it’s most likely that the white straight things are on top of a blue base.

Because every national flag we see is a rectangle with stuff inside it and our brain interprets every national flag in that category.

This is called the figure-ground relationship.

“it is known as identifying a figure from the background. For example, black words on a printed paper are seen as the “figure”, and the white sheet as the “background.”

“How does the brain decide in a visual scene which item is the figure and which are part of the ground? This perceptual decision can be based on many cues, all of which are of a probabilistic nature.”