Perceptual completion can link widely separated contour fragments and interpolate illusory contours (ICs) between them. The mechanisms underlying such long-range linking are not well understood. Here we report that completion is much poorer when ICs cross the vertical meridian than when they reside entirely within the left or right visual hemifield. This deficit reflects limitations in cross-hemispheric integration. We also show that the sensitivity to the interhemispheric divide is unique to perceptual completion: a comparable task which did not require completion showed no across-meridian impairment. We propose that these findings support the existence of specialized completion mechanisms in early visual cortical areas (V1/V2), since those areas are likely to be more sensitive to the interhemispheric divide.
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