Another concept that Wertheimer worked on was luminance versus brightness. The two things are not quite the same, as proved by the Wertheimer-Benary Illusion. In this experiment, triangles that were equally ‘luminant’ were placed in different contexts or backgrounds of light and dark, and viewers perceived them to have different levels of brightness.
As with most gestalt theories, the description of what people saw was adequate, however no explanation was given as to why this phenomenon occurred.
Wertheimer kept in touch with his former colleagues, who had also mostly migrated to theUS, and worked on the productive and reproductive theories of problem solving inNew York. These concepts relate to how people can solve new problems by either thinking them through, or by relating them to similar situations in the past. He died in 1943, just three weeks after the publication of his only book.
Kurt Koffka was a German psychologist born in 1886. His father, a lawyer, and his uncle who was a biologist germinated in him an interest and appreciation of science and philosophy. Although he obtained his early education and PhD fromBerlin, he also studies for a while inScotlandwhich allowed him to improve his English language skills, which came in handy when he moved to theUSlater and propagated his gestalt concepts. His first published paper was on color blindness, from which he suffered himself. His interest in experimental psychology led him to work with medical professionals. In 1910 he came to work at theUniversityofFrankfurtwhere he met Wertheimer and Kohler. Wertheimer, who at that time was studying the perception of motion, had Koffka become a subject in his experiments. Koffka moved to another university in 199 where he continued to work on the same theories and their application in developmental psychology.