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Teng Cao, Lan Wang, Sheng He; Common and shared mechanisms underlying the temporal dynamics of bi-stable perception. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):273. doi: 10.1167/15.12.273.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
There are many forms of perceptual bi-stability where perceptual experience alternates between two (sometimes even more) different images or interpretations. The alternation could happen between different images (e.g., binocular rivalry, monocular rivalry, stimulus rivalry), different viewpoint perspectives (e.g., the Necker cube), different surface depth assignments (e.g., 3D Structure-from-Motion), or different levels of perceptual organization (e.g., moving plaids vs. component gratings). These diverse phenomena seem to have different temporal dynamics, some with slow and others with fast alternating rates. One previous study (Suzuki & Grabowecky, 2007) discovered that in binocular rivalry the dynamics of perceptual switches was profoundly altered by perceptual experience, that there were within-trial slowdown and a long-term speeding of binocular rivalry switch when observers viewed the binocular rivalry repeatedly over many days. In this study, we investigated whether such an experience-induced change in perceptual dynamics is unique to binocular rivalry or is general to many forms of bi-stability, and in addition, whether there is transfer of this long-term speeding-up of switch rate from a trained form of bi-stable perception to other untrained forms. Over a 10-day period, in a paradigm similar to Suzuki and Grabowecky (2007), subjects viewed their individually assigned form of bistable stimuli for 12 trials a day, with each trial lasting 30 seconds separated by 2 minutes rests. Results show a consistent within-trial slowdown as well as a day-to-day long-term speedup for all types of bi-stable stimuli tested. In addition, there was evidence of transfer of the long-term speeding from trained to untrained types of bi-stable stimuli. Overall, these results indicate that there are common (e.g., adaptation) and even shared neural mechanisms underlying the temporal dynamics of different forms of bi-stable perception.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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