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Sjoerd M. Stuit, Chris L. E. Paffen, Maarten J. van der Smagt, Frans A. J. Verstraten; Suppressed images selectively affect the dominant percept during binocular rivalry. Journal of Vision 2011;11(10):7. doi: 10.1167/11.10.7.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
During binocular rivalry, perception alternates between dissimilar images that are presented dichoptically. It has been argued that perception during the dominance phase of rivalry is unaffected by the suppressed image. Recent evidence suggests, however, that the suppressed image does affect perception of the dominant image, yet the extent and nature of this interaction remain elusive. We hypothesize that this interaction depends on the difference in feature content between the rivaling images. Here, we investigate how sensitivity to probes presented in the image that is currently dominant in perception is affected by the suppressed image. Observers performed a 2AFC discrimination task on oriented probes (Experiment 1) or probes with different motion directions (Experiment 2). Our results show that performance on both orientation and motion direction discrimination was affected by the content of the suppressed image. The strength of interference depended specifically on the difference in feature content (e.g., the difference in orientation) between the probe and the suppressed image. Moreover, the pattern of interference by the suppressed image is qualitatively similar to the situation where this image and the probe are simultaneously visible. We conclude that perception during the dominance phase of rivalry is affected by a suppressed image as if it were visible.
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