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Gemma Huguet, John Rinzel, Jean-Michel Hupé; Noise and adaptation in multistable perception: Noise drives when to switch, adaptation determines percept choice. Journal of Vision 2014;14(3):19. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.3.19.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We study the dynamics of perceptual switching in ambiguous visual scenes that admit more than two interpretations/percepts to gain insight into the dynamics of perceptual multistability and its underlying neural mechanisms. We focus on visual plaids that are tristable and we present both experimental and computational results. We develop a firing-rate model based on mutual inhibition and adaptation that involves stochastic dynamics of multiple-attractor systems. The model can account for the dynamic properties (transition probabilities, distributions of percept durations, etc.) observed in the experiments. Noise and adaptation have both been shown to play roles in the dynamics of bistable perception. Here, tristable perception allows us to specify the roles of noise and adaptation in our model. Noise is critical in considering the time of a switch. On the other hand, adaptation mechanisms are critical in considering perceptual choice (in tristable perception, each time a percept ends, there is a possible choice between two new percepts).
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