The development of generalized contour/texture discrimination techniques is a central element necessary for machine vision recognition and interpretation of arbitrary images. Here the visual perception of texture, selected studies of texture analysis in machine vision, and diverse small samples of contour and texture are all used to provide insights into the fundamental characteristics of contour and texture. From these, an experimental discrimination scheme is developed and tested on a battery of natural images. The processing of contour and texture is considered as a unified problem of zonal determinations of stasis versus change. The visual perception of texture defined fine texture as a subclass which is interpreted as shading and is distinct from coarse figural similarity textures. Also, perception defined the smallest scale for contour/texture discrimination as 8 to 9 visual acuity units. Three contour/texture discrimination parameters were found to be moderately successful for this scale of discrimination: (1) lightness change in a blurred version of the image, (2) change in lightness change in the original image, and (3) percent change in edge counts relative to local maximum.