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Sjoerd Stuit, Jan Brascamp, Maurits Barendregt, Maarten van der Smagt, Susan te Pas; Image-based and eye-based influences on binocular rivalry have similar spatial profiles. Journal of Vision 2017;17(12):14. doi: 10.1167/17.12.14.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Binocular rivalry occurs when the images presented to the two eyes do not match. Instead of fusing into a stable percept, perception during rivalry alternates between images over time. However, during rivalry, perception can also resemble a patchwork of parts of both eyes' images. Such integration of image parts across eyes is relatively rare compared to integration of image parts presented to the same eye, suggesting that integration across space during rivalry is primarily rooted at the early monocular level of processing. However, recent evidence suggests that rivalry, and potentially also integration across space during rivalry, has its basis at multiple stages of processing, including stages at which monocular signals are minimal. As such, integration and competition at these later stages would be driven more by image-based factors, such as continuity and color than by eye of origin. Because “higher” visual areas also have increasingly larger receptive fields, image-based integration may occur over a larger spatial extent compared to monocular, eye-based integration. We therefore used rival images containing two separate image parts and varied the interimage-part distance (IIPD) to assess the relative contributions of eye of origin and image features to integration across space at increasing IIPDs. Our hypothesis was that the balance between these contributions would shift toward image features as IIPD increased. Instead, results show that the relative contributions of both factors to grouping remain constant as a function of IIPD. This indicates that image-based grouping is subject to similar spatial constraints as monocular, eye-based grouping, suggesting both kinds of grouping rely on similarly sized receptive fields.
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