Paffen C L E, van der Stigchel S, 2010, "Shifting attention makes you flip: exogenous visual attention triggers perceptual alternations during binocular rivalry" Perception 39 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 153
Shifting attention makes you flip: exogenous visual attention triggers perceptual alternations during binocular rivalry
C L E Paffen, S van der Stigchel
During binocular rivalry, perception alternates between dissimilar images presented dichoptically. It has been argued that binocular rivalry and visual attention are closely linked, but strong evidence is missing. Here we investigate this claim by asking whether the timing of perceptual alternations is affected by spatial cueing. In two experiments, rivalry was instigated at two locations, left and right of fixation. Shortly after onset of a trial, a cue was presented at one of these locations or at fixation. In Experiment 1, observers responded whether a target was presented to the left or right location. In Experiment 2, observers reported perceptual alternations for both locations. Experiment 1 produced classical cueing results: shorter reactiontimes to cue-valid than to cue-invalid targets. Importantly, cueing affected the timing of perceptual alternations in Experiment 2—alternations occurred earlier and more frequent at cued versus uncued locations. The results show a tight link between the dynamics of visual attention and the occurrence of perceptual alternations during binocular rivalry. We suggest that cueing a location where rival images are presented leads to a transient increase in the effective contrast of these rival images. This transient increase in effective contrast increases the probability of an alternation at that location.
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