August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
Feature-selectivity is common in perceptual suppression phenomena
Author Affiliations
  • Mark Vergeer
    Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium
  • Raymond van Ee
    Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium
  • Johan Wagemans
    Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 1250. doi:
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      Mark Vergeer, Raymond van Ee, Johan Wagemans; Feature-selectivity is common in perceptual suppression phenomena. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1250.

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

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Perceptual suppression phenomena are frequently used to study the concept of consciousness in general and, more specifically, the mechanisms involved in perceptual selection. We previously obtained evidence for feature-selectivity in binocular suppression (Vergeer and van Lier, Vis Res 2010). In the current study, we are interested in common mechanisms underlying monocular and binocular suppression by focusing on feature-selectivity in Motion-induced Blindness (MiB) and classic perceptual fading. In both paradigms, a peripherally presented target disappears perceptually after prolonged fixation. In perceptual fading the target is commonly presented on a static homogenous background, whereas in MiB competition for awareness occurs between a static target and a dynamic mask moving across the visual field, although they never physically overlap. Both phenomena can be influenced by neural adaptation and perceptual grouping (i.e., 2 targets disappear more often simultaneously when they are grouped, by color for instance). However, in grouping effects like these, as in binocular rivalry, it is difficult to distinguish the role of attention from a possible intrinsic stimulus-selective suppression mechanism. In both tasks, a peripherally presented oriented Gabor was removed from the screen after its perceptual disappearance and a test grating appeared left or right of the previous target location. For both phenomena, an adaptive QUEST procedure revealed significant elevated contrast detection thresholds (>10% and >20% for MiB and perceptual fading, respectively) when the test and target stimuli had the same orientation compared to when they were orthogonal, indicating feature-specificity. These results emphasize the similarity between different monocular and binocular bistable phenomena. We argue that common perceptual mechanisms are in place at the monocular and the binocular level.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014


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