We examined the effects of multiple axes and skewing on the detectability of symmetry in tachistoscopically presented (100-msec) dot patterns to test the role of normal grouping processes based on higher order regularities in element positions. In addition to the first-order regularities of orientational uniformity and midpoint collinearity (Jenkins, 1983), bilateral symmetry (BS) gives rise to second-order relations between two pairs of symmetric elements (represented by correlation quadrangles). We suggest that they allow the regularity (i.e., BS) to emerge simply as a result of the position-based grouping that takes place normally, so that no special symmetry-detection mechanism has to be postulated. In combination with previously investigated variables-number and orientation of axes-we introduced skewing (resulting from orthographic projection of BS) to manipulate the kind and number of higher order regularities. In agreement with our predictions, the data show that the effect of skewing angle (varied at three 15-degrees steps, clockwise and counterclockwise) on the preattentive detectability of symmetry (measured with d') increases as the number of axes decreases. On the basis of some more specific findings, we suggest that it is not as much the number of correlation quadrangles that determines the saliency of a regularity as it is the degree to which they facilitate or "bootstrap" each other.