September 2017
Volume 17, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2017
Dissimilarity between feature ensembles triggers binocular rivalry without competing local features
Author Affiliations
  • Oakyoon Cha
    Graduate Program in Cognitive Science, Yonsei University
  • Randolph Blake
    Department of Psychology and Vanderbilt Vision Research Center, Vanderbilt University
  • Sang Chul Chong
    Graduate Program in Cognitive Science, Yonsei University
    Department of Psychology, Yonsei University
Journal of Vision August 2017, Vol.17, 1221. doi:10.1167/17.10.1221
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      Oakyoon Cha, Randolph Blake, Sang Chul Chong; Dissimilarity between feature ensembles triggers binocular rivalry without competing local features. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):1221. doi: 10.1167/17.10.1221.

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

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Abstract

Viewing the world with both eyes open, our visual experience belies no hint of its dual origins, because the two monocular images are virtually identical in terms of their feature content, with only the slight perspective differences affording a somewhat enhanced sense of three-dimensionality. Vision's dual origins are dramatically revealed, however, when the two eyes view dissimilar monocular stimuli: stable single vision gives way to alternating perceptual dominance between the two distinct monocular views (binocular rivalry). We have investigated the extent to which similarity between feature ensembles, but not object-to-object matches, govern whether one experiences binocular fusion or binocular rivalry. We created two sets of novel, dichoptically viewed stimuli that comprised numerous simple shapes, none of which were imaged on corresponding retinal locations. We predicted that two sets would form an integrated, stable binocular impression when the pair of feature ensembles viewed by the two eyes were the same, but would trigger binocular rivalry when feature ensembles were different between the two eyes. We used a probe technique to test those predictions. During extended viewing, brief presentations of one or two dots (probes) occurred irregularly, and participants reported when such events were detected and how many dots were seen. Probes were always imaged separately in each eye when two probes were presented. The probability of missing one of two probes should be higher if one of the two sets was suppressed as a result of ongoing binocular rivalry. Results showed that indeed participants were more likely to fail seeing one of two probes when the feature ensembles were different. Thus, our results suggest that feature ensembles can sway binocular perception in favor of fusion or rivalry depending on ensemble similarity across the two eyes.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017

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