September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Characterizing Perceptual Alternations During Binocular Rivalry in Children
Author Affiliations
  • Amanda Beers
    Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University
  • Michael Slugocki
    Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University
  • Terri Lewis
    Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University
  • Allison Sekuler
    Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University
  • Patrick Bennett
    Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 191. doi:10.1167/15.12.191
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      Amanda Beers, Michael Slugocki, Terri Lewis, Allison Sekuler, Patrick Bennett; Characterizing Perceptual Alternations During Binocular Rivalry in Children. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):191. doi: 10.1167/15.12.191.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Although binocular rivalry has been examined thoroughly in young adults, we know relatively little about its developmental trajectory. To address this issue, we created a child‐friendly task, in which we presented pairs of orthogonal, oblique sine wave gratings to 7‐, 9‐, 11‐year‐olds, and young adults (mean = 21.25 years). Stimulus size (diameter = 1.4 or 4.4) and contrast level (0.2 or 0.8), factors with well‐known effects on rivalry in young adults, varied across trials. On each trial, participants recorded their alternations among percepts (each of the two exclusive, mixed, and fading/other) with a handheld button box. To measure accuracy of reported percepts, we intermixed pseudo-rivalry with experimental trials. For experimental trials, dependent measures included the average duration and proportion of time participants reported viewing each type of percept. Children spent a significantly greater proportion of time viewing exclusive percepts and less time viewing mixed percepts compared to young adults, a finding that provides evidence against the prediction of increased mixed percepts in children (Kovacs & Eisenberg, 2005). Sequential patterns of alternations between percepts also varied between children and young adults. For example, the proportion of return transitions increased from childhood to adulthood, specifically for low contrast conditions. Average durations for exclusive percepts did not differ significantly across age groups, contrary to previous reports suggesting faster alternation rates in children (Kovacs & Eisenberg, 2005; Hudak et al., 2011). Average durations for mixed percepts were shorter in children compared to young adults. No differences were observed between 7‐, 9‐, and 11‐year‐olds for any dependent measure. These are the first reports of several characteristics of binocular rivalry in children, specifically measures of mixed percepts and sequential transitions.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015

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