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Kenith Sobel, Randolph Blake; Subjective contours and binocular rivalry. Journal of Vision 2002;2(7):460. doi: 10.1167/2.7.460.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
PURPOSE Are the temporal dynamics of rivalry influenced by globally organized subjective contours?
METHODS AND RESULTS Rival targets (a bullseye vs a “pacman”) were presented i) alone, ii) in global context wherein two additional “pacmen” created the vivid perception of an illusory triangle, and iii) in a context in which those additional “pacmen” were present but did not create an illusory figure. Predominance of the rival pacman was uninfluenced by context, even when that pacman comprised one element of an illusory figure. In a second experiment context was introduced during dominance or during suppression of the pacman, but again global context had no influence on its predominance. In a third experiment, foveally viewed rival targets — a “bullseye” and a “radial grating” — underwent reciprocal periods of dominance and suppression. Observers depressed and held a key when the radial grating was dominant completely and released the key when the bullseye became dominant. On some trials, a real contour moved laterally through the visual field and on other trials a subjective contour moved laterally through the visual field. Real contour motion within the eye containing the suppressed stimulus reliably terminated its suppression. Movement of a subjective contour, although perceptually salient, failed to terminate suppression more frequently than did local transients associated with production of that contour.
CONCLUSION Dominance and suppression periods of rivalry are insensitive to figural information specified by illusory contours, implying that neural events underlying those perceptual states occur early in visual processing. It remains to be learned why global grouping is sensitive to global context while durations of dominance and suppression are not.
EY13358 and EY13924-01
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