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Dustin Cox, Sang Hong; Traveling waves of dominance in motion-induced blindness. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):275. doi: 10.1167/15.12.275.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
There is accumulated evidence supporting the idea that motion-induced blindness (MIB) and binocular rivalry (BR) may be mediated by a common mechanism(s). To test this hypothesis, we examined the spatiotemporal dynamics of perceptual switches in MIB. It is well known that perceptual switches occur in a traveling-wave-like fashion during binocular rivalry, meaning that a suppressed stimulus during BR regains its dominance locally and progressively expands its dominance over space and time. If MIB and BR share a common mechanism, their spatiotemporal dynamics should resemble each other. In each trial, observers viewed a MIB display consisting of a rotating grid of black crosses on a grey background and a static, segmented, white arc presented in the periphery within protection zones. Observers pressed and held a key once the entire arc completely disappeared from awareness due to MIB. Target reappearance was induced by briefly flickering a portion of the end of the arc right after it completely disappeared. Observers released the response key when a segment of the arc reappeared at a designated location. The target reappearance location was systematically varied in distance from the flicker pulse along the arc across trials. We found that the reappearance of the arc reached locations further from the flicker pulse with greater latencies, resembling the traveling-wave-like propagation of dominance observed in BR. Participants indeed reported that reappearance of the targets appeared to propagate in a wave-like manner along the arcs. Our results indicate that the suppressed targets in MIB regain visual awareness in a wave-like fashion similar to BR. The consistent spatiotemporal dynamics between BR and MIB indicates that both visual phenomena may be mediated by a common mechanism(s).
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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