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Jürgen Kornmeier, Miriam Pfäffle, Michael Bach; Necker cube: Stimulus-related (low-level) and percept-related (high-level) EEG signatures early in occipital cortex. Journal of Vision 2011;11(9):12. doi: 10.1167/11.9.12.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
During observation of an ambiguous Necker cube, our percept changes spontaneously although the external stimulus does not. An EEG paradigm allowing time-resolved EEG measurement during endogenous perceptual reversals recently revealed a chain of ERP correlates beginning with an early occipital positivity at around 130 ms (Reversal Positivity, “RP”). In order to better understand the functional role of this RP, we investigated its relation to the P100, which is spatiotemporally close, typically occurring 100 ms after onset of a visual stimulus at occipital electrodes. We compared the relation of the ERP amplitudes to varying sizes of ambiguous Necker cubes. The main results are: (1) The P100 amplitude increases monotonically with stimulus size but is independent of the participants' percept. (2) The RP, in contrast, is percept-related and largely unaffected by stimulus size. (3) A similar pattern to RP was found for reaction times: They depend on the percept but not on stimulus size. We speculate that the P100 reflects processing of elementary visual features, while the RP is related to a processing conflict during 3D interpretation that precedes a reversal. The present results indicate that low-level visual processing (related to stimulus size) and (relative) high-level processing (related to perceptual reversal) occur in close spatial and temporal vicinity.
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