June 2006
Volume 6, Issue 6
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2006
Learning affects binocular rivalry
Author Affiliations
  • Chris L. E. Paffen
    Helmholtz Institute, Psychonomics division, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Frans A. J. Verstraten
    Helmholtz Institute, Psychonomics division, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Zoltan Vidnyánszky
    Neurobiology Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences - Semmelweis University, Tuzolto u. 58, Budapest, H-1094, Hungary.
Journal of Vision June 2006, Vol.6, 848. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/6.6.848
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      Chris L. E. Paffen, Frans A. J. Verstraten, Zoltan Vidnyánszky; Learning affects binocular rivalry. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):848. https://doi.org/10.1167/6.6.848.

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

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The competitive mechanisms giving rise to binocular rivalry might overlap with selection mechanisms underlying object-based attention (Leopold and Logothetis, 1999). Here we tested whether binocular rivalry between moving stimuli is affected by attention-based long-term modulation of sensitivity for specific motion directions.


On pre- and post training days, observers reported their dominant perception of pairs of rival motion stimuli with different motion directions (right vs. down, left-up vs. down, left-up vs. right). During 5 training days, observers performed a speed discrimination task on rightward (attended) motion, presented simultaneously with downward (neglected) motion (in a bivectorial transparent dot motion display).


Dominance durations of the attended motion direction increased, and those of the neglected motion direction decreased as a result of training. Surprisingly, presenting a control motion direction (the left-up direction which was not present during training) with either the attended or neglected motion direction lead to a training-induced decrease in the dominance durations of the neglected motion that was much larger than the training-induced increase in the dominance durations of the attended motion.


Attention-based long-term modulation of the sensitivity for visual features affects binocular rivalry primarily via decreasing the dominance of the visual information that was task-irrelevant during learning.

Paffen, C. L. E. Verstraten, F. A. J. Vidnyánszky, Z. (2006). Learning affects binocular rivalry [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 6(6):848, 848a, http://journalofvision.org/6/6/848/, doi:10.1167/6.6.848. [CrossRef]

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