In this study, a large number of observers (N = 201) were asked to segment a collection of outlines derived from line drawings of everyday objects (N = 88). This data set was then used as a benchmark to evaluate current models of object segmentation. All of the previously proposed rules of segmentation were found supported in our results. For example, minima of curvature (i.e. locations along the contour where negative curvature takes an extreme value) were often used as segmentation points. The second point of a pair connected by a segmentation line often depended on more global shape characteristics such as proximity, collinearity, symmetry, and elongation. Based on these results, a framework is presented in which all of the previously proposed (and now empirically validated) segmentation rules or rules for part formation are integrated. (c) 2005 Published by Elsevier B.V.