The dynamics of perceptual rivalry in bistable and tristable perception

Wallis, Guy and Ringelhan, Stefanie (2013) The dynamics of perceptual rivalry in bistable and tristable perception. Journal of Vision, 13 2: . doi:10.1167/13.2.24

Author Wallis, Guy
Ringelhan, Stefanie
Title The dynamics of perceptual rivalry in bistable and tristable perception
Journal name Journal of Vision   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1534-7362
Publication date 2013-02-20
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1167/13.2.24
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 13
Issue 2
Total pages 21
Place of publication Rockville, MD, United States
Publisher Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Language eng
Abstract Human observers are extremely adept at correctly interpreting the visual input that they receive despite its inherent ambiguity. There are, however, situations in which no single, valid interpretation exists and perception oscillates. Such situations offer insight into the processes underlying perception, as they reveal the conditions under which our percept can alter in the presence of an unchanging physical stimulus. Many studies have focused on perceptual switching during binocular and monocular rivalry, or when viewing ambiguous figures. The majority of these studies have focused on bistable phenomena. In this paper we report the study of a range of ambiguous stimuli that provoke tristable perception, thereby providing a more exacting test bed for current models. We find that subjects spontaneously move from periods of bistable to tristable perception and that this results in a characteristic change in the rate of perceptual switching. In contrast to reports for bistable stimuli, we find only weak evidence for consistency in the relative switch rates of individuals across our test stimuli and explain why our results are inconsistent with the theory of interhemispheric switching. We go on to describe how the results are, instead, largely consistent with models of rivalry based on mutual inhibition and adaptation.
Keyword Rivalry
Multistable perception
Bistable perception
Tristable perception
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID DP0343522
RGP 03/2006
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article # 24

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2014 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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