This letter presents a mathematical model of figure-ground articulation that takes into account both local and global gestalt laws and is compatible with the functional architecture of the primary visual cortex (V1). The local gestalt law of good continuation is described by means of suitable connectivity kernels that are derived from Lie group theory and quantitatively compared with long-range connectivity in V1. Global gestalt constraints are then introduced in terms of spectral analysis of a connectivity matrix derived from these kernels. This analysis performs grouping of local features and individuates perceptual units with the highest salience. Numerical simulations are performed, and results are obtained by applying the technique to a number of stimuli.