September 2017
Volume 17, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2017
The Modularity of Brain Dynamics: Insights from Bistable Perception
Author Affiliations
  • Teng Cao
    State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • Lan Wang
    State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • Zhouyuan Sun
    State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • Stephen Engel
    Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
  • Sheng He
    State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Journal of Vision August 2017, Vol.17, 1213. doi:10.1167/17.10.1213
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    • Get Citation

      Teng Cao, Lan Wang, Zhouyuan Sun, Stephen Engel, Sheng He; The Modularity of Brain Dynamics: Insights from Bistable Perception. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):1213. doi: 10.1167/17.10.1213.

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

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Abstract

In bistable perception, constant input leads to alternating perception. The dynamics of the changing perception reflects the intrinsic dynamic properties of the 'unconscious inferential' process in the brain. Under the same condition, individuals differ in how fast they experience the perceptual alternation. In this study, testing many forms of bistable perception in a large number of observers, we investigated the key question of whether there is a general mechanism or multiple modular mechanisms that control the dynamics of the inferential brain. Bistable phenomena tested include binocular rivalry, vase-face, Necker cube, moving plaid, motion induced blindness, biological motion, spinning dancer, rotating cylinder, lissajous-figur, rolling wheel, and translating diamond. Switching dynamics for each bistable percept was measured in 100 observers. Results show that the switching rates of subsets of bistable percept are highly correlated. Further control experiments show that the correlations among subsets of bistable phenomena were not due to correlated eye movement or blink. The clustering of dynamic properties of some bistable phenomena but not an overall general control of switching dynamics implies that there the brain's inferential processes are modular – faster in constructing 3D structure from motion does not mean faster in integrating components into an objects.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017

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