September 2011
Volume 11, Issue 11
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2011
Binocular Fusion Unmasks Rivalrous Suppression of the Craik-O'Brien-Cornsweet (COC) Illusion
Author Affiliations
  • Steven Shevell
    Psychology and Institute for Mind & Biology, University of Chicago, USA
    Ophthalmology & Visual Science, University of Chicago, USA
  • Elizabeth Allen
    Psychology and Institute for Mind & Biology, University of Chicago, USA
  • Stuart Anstis
    Psychology, UCSD, USA
Journal of Vision September 2011, Vol.11, 370. doi:
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      Steven Shevell, Elizabeth Allen, Stuart Anstis; Binocular Fusion Unmasks Rivalrous Suppression of the Craik-O'Brien-Cornsweet (COC) Illusion. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):370. doi:

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

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A patch of uniform luminance except for a centered, vertical spatial transient (‘COC edge’) appears different in brightness on the left and right sides of the edge. The locus of the neural mechanism mediating this brightness difference is controversial. CONCLUSION: The results show that the neural locus follows resolution of binocular rivalry. METHODS AND RESULTS: A COC edge was flipped randomly (incremental transient left or right of center) on each trial; the task was to report which side of the patch appeared brighter. (i) Baseline measurements established that the COC illusion was correctly perceived 95–100% of the time for our monocularly presented patch with COC edge. (ii) Adding in the same eye three small moving objects on top of the COC edge, covering 10% of it, did not reduce performance. (iii) The same three moving objects presented in only the contralateral eye suppressed the COC illusion, corroborating Boyaci et al. (Current Biology, 2007) and D'Antona et al. (VSS, 2010). For 2 observers, suppression was complete (0%); for 2 others, performance fell to about 50%. (iv) Critically, with the moving objects presented to both eyes in retinally corresponding positions, performance returned to nearly 100%. Therefore, elimination of binocular rivalry, by introducing corresponding moving objects in the COC eye, eliminated suppression of the COC illusion caused by the contralateral stimuli. Controls excluded alternative explanations: (v) contralateral-eye dominance from the moving objects in only the contralateral eye, by oscillating overall patch luminance (0.7 Hz) in the COC-eye, which gave a continuous time-varying percept of the brightness on both sides of the patch (thus no contralateral dominance); or (vi) COC-eye dominance with the moving objects in both eyes, by adding binocular disparity to the corresponding moving objects in the two eyes, which gave perceived stereo depth (thus neither eye was suppressed).

NIH grant EY-04802. 

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