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Alexander Pastukhov, Malin Styrnal, Claus-Christian Carbon; History-dependent changes to distribution of dominance phases in multistable perception. Journal of Vision 2023;23(3):16. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.23.3.16.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Multistability – spontaneous switches of perception when viewing a stimulus compatible with several percepts – is often characterized by the distribution of durations of dominance phases. For continuous viewing conditions, these distributions are similar for various multistable displays and share two characteristic features: a Gamma-like distribution shape and dependence of dominance durations on the perceptual history. Both properties depend on a balance between self-adaptation (also conceptualized as a weakening stability prior) and noise. Prior experimental work and simulations that systematically manipulated displays showed that faster self-adaptation leads to a more “normal-like” distribution and, typically, to more regular dominance durations. We used a leaky integrator approach to estimate accumulated differences in self-adaptation between competing representations and used it as a predictor when fitting two parameters of a Gamma distribution independently. We confirmed earlier work showing that larger differences in self-adaptation led to a more “normal-like” distribution suggesting similar mechanisms that rely on the balance between self-adaptation and noise. However, these larger differences led to less regular dominance phases suggesting that longer times required for recovery from adaptation give noise more chances to induce a spontaneous switch. Our results also remind us that individual dominance phases are not “independent and identically distributed.”
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