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Tingting Liu, Xinghuai Sun, Sheng He; Object-level properties influence the temporal dynamics of binocular rivalry: a test using Chinese characters. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):686. doi: 10.1167/12.9.686.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
During binocular rivalry, two dichoptically presented images alternate in perceptual dominance. The perceptual switching rate of binocular rivalry can be influenced by many factors, including well-characterized low-level image factors such as contrast, size, and eccentricity, as well as an individual’s genetics. It is less understood how and why high-level object properties influence the dynamics of binocular rivalry. Previously we have shown that the lateralized processing in the brain for different categories of objects (e.g., faces vs. words) influences their relative dominance time when competing stimuli are presented in the left or right visual field (J Vis, 2010 10(7): 332). In the current study, we investigate the effect of object representation on the temporal dynamics of binocular rivalry. Specifically, two Chinese characters were used in one condition and two matched non- characters were used in the other condition. The size of each stimulus was 1 degree of visual angle and a small fixation point was placed in the center of each image. Subjects recorded their perception with key presses. Results show that the switch rate of rivalry between real Chinese characters was slower than that between matched non-characters. It is likely that the different switching rates for real characters vs. non-characters reflect their differential level and depth of representations in the brain. We suggest that during binocular rivalry, with low-level image factors matched, it takes more neural effort to overturn the dominance of a more extensively represented image (e.g., a real character) than an image with less extensive representation in the brain (e.g., a non-character).
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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