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Ying Wang, Xue Zhang, Qian Xu, Yi Jiang; Rhythmic motion regulates spontaneous perceptual alternation. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):342. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.10.342.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
During prolonged viewing of ambiguous visual patterns, perception fluctuates spontaneously between two competing interpretations. Such phenomenon of perceptual alternation is valuable for investigating the temporal dynamics of visual processing, which presumably reflects the oscillatory nature of neural activities. Here we demonstrate that despite the inevitable fluctuation, spontaneous perceptual alternation can be regulated by external rhythms in the form of cyclic motion, resulting in a linear covariation between the cycle repetitions and the perceptual alternations. This effect was observed for biological motion as well as for artificial motions that simulated the kinematic properties of biological motion or had a regular acceleration-defined cycle, but is not evident when periodicity was imposed on the motion signals through adding irregular acceleration or regular color or luminance information. Moreover, the distribution of perceptual durations can be described by a gamma function with the shape varied with the rhythmic motion cycle rather than other temporal properties of the motion stimuli. These results suggest that the intrinsic dynamic characteristics of visual processing can be regulated by external rhythmic motion information, and argue for a potential role of neural entrainment in triggering rhythmic visual processes.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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