Paper in Current Biology
- Pearson, J. and Clifford,
C. (2005). Suppressed patterns alter vision during binocular
rivalry. Current Biology, 15: 2142-2148
Binocular rivalry occurs when incongruent patterns are presented
to corresponding regions of the retinas, leading to fluctuations
of awareness between the patterns. One attribute of a stimulus
may rival whereas another may combine between the eyes; but
it is typically assumed that the dominant features are perceived
veridically. Here, we show this is not necessarily the case
and that a suppressed visual feature can alter dominant perception.
The cortical representations of oriented gratings can interact
even when one of them is perceptually suppressed, such that
the perceived orientation of the dominant grating is systematically
biased depending on the orientation of the suppressed grating.
A suppressed inducing pattern has the same qualitative effect
as a visible one, but suppression reduces effective contrast
by a factor of around six. A simple neural model quantifies
and helps explain these illusions. These results demonstrate
that binocular rivalry suppression operates in a graded fashion
across multiple sites in the visual hierarchy rather than truncating
processing at a single site and that suppressed visual information
can alter dominant vision in real-time.