August 2023
Volume 23, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2023
Gestalt formation promotes awareness of suppressed visual stimuli during binocular rivalry
Author Affiliations
  • Mar Nikiforova
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Rosemary Cowell
  • David Huber
Journal of Vision August 2023, Vol.23, 5150. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Mar Nikiforova, Rosemary Cowell, David Huber; Gestalt formation promotes awareness of suppressed visual stimuli during binocular rivalry. Journal of Vision 2023;23(9):5150.

      Download citation file:

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

  • Supplements

Continuous flash suppression leverages binocular rivalry to render observers unaware of a static image for several seconds. To achieve this effect, rapidly flashing noise masks are presented to the dominant eye while a static stimulus is presented to the non-dominant eye. Eventually "breakthrough" occurs, wherein awareness shifts to the static image shown to the non-dominant eye. We tested the hypothesis that Gestalt formation can promote breakthrough. In two experiments, we presented “pacman”-shaped objects that might or might not align to form illusory Kanizsa bars, finding that breakthrough was faster when the pacmen were aligned. To measure the inception of breakthrough, observers were instructed to press a key at the moment of partial breakthrough. After pressing the key, which stopped the trial, observers reported how many pacmen were seen and where they were located. Supporting the Gestalt hypothesis, observers more often reported pairs of pacmen if they were aligned. To address whether these effects reflected illusory shape perception, a computational model was applied to the pacman report distributions and breakthrough times for an experiment with four pacmen. A full account of the data required an increased joint probability of reporting all four pacmen, suggesting an influence of a perceived illusory cross induced by the figures.


This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.