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Joke P. Kalisvaart, Igor Klaver, Jeroen Goossens; Motion discrimination under uncertainty and ambiguity. Journal of Vision 2011;11(1):20. doi: 10.1167/11.1.20.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Speed and accuracy of visual motion discrimination depend systematically on motion strength. This behavior is traditionally explained by diffusion models that assume accumulation of sensory evidence over time to a decision bound. However, how does the brain decide when sensory evidence is ambiguous, such as in binocular rivalry? Theories on bistable vision propose that such a conflict is resolved through competitive interactions between adapting units encoding the alternative stimulus interpretations. Thus, distinctly different theoretical frameworks have been proposed for deciding under uncertainty and ambiguity; a discrepancy overlooked so far. Here, we studied motion discrimination at stimulus onset under both conditions. In Experiment 1, speed and accuracy were similar when observers viewed noisy, unambiguous motion patterns in which signal dots were either at identical or at different, uncorrelated locations for the two eyes. This result is compatible with a race between two monocular discrimination processes. However, Experiments 2 and 3 showed that reaction times increase under rivalry conditions and that this increase cannot be explained by motion transparency. The data thus reveal competitive rivalry interactions. We discuss a model that can account for the accuracy and latencies observed under both ambiguous and unambiguous conditions, by combining key elements from diffusion and rivalry models.
Note: *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01.
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