How we are communicate
Perceiving, with only rare exceptions, involves making inferences and decisions based on information coming from several modalities simultaneously.
When the lights are stationary, they appear to be randomly placed and no form is seen, but as soon as the lights begin to move it is easy to tell whether the actor is running or walking, and even the gender of the actor (Cutting, 1978)
typically we cannot make use of all the available properties at once due to sensory limitations, memory limitations, or even environmental obstacles.
Given the immediacy and transparency of perceiving, it is easy to forget that perceiving is based on the patterning of neural spikes (Rieke et al., 1997). The spike train is not a static image; it is a running commentary or simultaneous translation of the objects and contrasts in the world.
Handel, S. (2006) Perceptual Coherence. New York: Oxford University Press.