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Elizabeth Allen, Andrew Mattarella-Micke, Sian Beilock, Steven Shevell; Perceptual Filling-In During Binocular Rivalry Relates to Variation in Working Memory Capacity. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):678. doi: 10.1167/12.9.678.
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In binocular rivalry, perception typically alternates between each eye’s image, but percepts containing elements from both images are also possible. This study uses "patchwork" stimuli, in which each eye receives a complementary patchwork of two rivalrous images. Patchwork stimuli can evoke percepts with interocular grouping (complementary patches from each eye combine to give a coherent whole), and also percepts with filling-in (a feature that is physically present at one location perceptually "fills" neighboring locations), revealing a possible role for cognitive processes in rivalry (Kovács et al., 1996). The current study found that individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) are related to the frequency and stability of perceived filling-in with rivalrous stimuli. WMC reflects the ability to maintain relevant representations while simultaneously inhibiting irrelevant representations. It is related to perceptual stability of an ambiguous figure (Allen et al., VSS2011), but its role in binocular rivalry has not been established. Forty-three participants viewed images haploscopically that contained a 4x4 array of dots equiluminant to a yellow background (after Kovács et al., 1996). In the CLASSIC condition, each eye’s image had either all red dots or all green dots. In the PATCHWORK condition, each eye’s image contained half red and half green dots, with different-colored dots presented in complementary locations in each eye. WMC was assessed for each participant using the RSPAN task. WMC was correlated with the proportion of time participants reported filling-in (solid yellow percept) in both the CLASSIC (r=0.36, p<0.02) and PATCHWORK (r=0.31, p<0.05) conditions. Moreover, the stability of this percept was correlated with WMC in the CLASSIC condition (r=0.30, p<0.05 a priori one-tailed test). Other results were inconsistent with the possibility that Troxler’s fading caused these correlations. These results suggest WMC is related to a coherent perceptual experience during rivalry at retinotopic locations where there is interocular conflict.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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