The example above (containing 11 distinct objects) appears as as single unit because all of the shapes have similarity. Unity occurs because the triangular shapes at the bottom of the eagle symbol look similar to the shapes that form the sunburst. When similarity occurs, an object can be emphasised if it is dissimilar to the others. This is called anomally.
The figure on the far right becomes a focal point because it is dissimilar to the other shapes.
Although the panda above is not complete, enough is present for the eye to complete the shape. When the viewer's perception completes a shape, closure occurs. Examples:
In this image, the figure and ground relationships change as the eye perceives the the form of a shade or the silhouette of a face.
This image uses complex figure/ground relationships which change upon perceiving leaves, water and tree trunk.
Continuation occurs in the example above, because the viewer's eye will naturally follow a line or curve. The smooth flowing crossbar of the "H" leads the eye directly to the maple leaf.
The nine squares above are placed without proximity. They are perceived as separate shapes.
When the squares are given close proximity, unity occurs. While they continue to be separate shapes, they are now perceived as one group.
The fifteen figures above form a unified whole (the shape of a tree) because of their proximity.