Watson T, Pearson J, Clifford C W G, 2004, "Biological motion promotes rivalry" Perception 33 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Biological motion promotes rivalry
T Watson, J Pearson, C W G Clifford
Binocular rivalry is believed to be mediated at multiple levels of the visual processing hierarchy. We investigated whether the grouping of global form on the basis of biological motion can promote rivalry in stimuli that might otherwise appear perceptually superimposed. A red and a green point-light walker were simultaneously presented, one to each eye. The walkers were arranged so that they occupied the same region of the visual field but were displaced vertically to ensure that the trajectories of individual dots did not overlap. Subjects monitored the predominant colour of the perceived dots. Rivalry, as measured by predominance of one or other colour, occurred for 50% - 60% of stimulus duration. In a condition designed to control for rivalry on the basis of stimulus colour or local dot motion, the dots comprising each walker were evenly distributed between the eyes but coloured so that dots presented to one eye were red and dots presented to the other eye were green. Under this condition walkers were typically not seen. This reduced rivalry to less than 10% of stimulus duration. These results demonstrate that conflicting perceptual interpretations based on biological motion are robust enough to initiate rivalry. This illustrates the significance of top - down knowledge in the interpretation of degraded visual input.
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