This proposal will use psychophysical and psychophysiological procedures to study binocular rivalry, the breakdown in stable binocular single vision resulting from discordant monocular inputs. During rivalry the eyes convey contradictory information to the brain about the nature of objects at given locations in visual space. Faced with rival interpretations, the brain lapses into an unstable state characterized by alternating periods of monocular dominance that continue as long as the eyes view discordant stimuli. The study of rivalry has bearing on several key issues in vision science including the possible neural bases of strabismic suppression, the principles of perceptual organization, neural mechanisms involved in fusion and stereopsis, and possible neural concomitants of conscious visual awareness. Interest in rivalry has grown in recent years, but several important issues remain unresolved, issues that bear importantly on the nature and locus of binocular rivalry. The proposed work will study several of these: a) what actually rivals during rivalry, competing stimulus interpretations or conflicting image features associated with left and right eyes, b) the role of global context in determining the temporal dynamics of rivalry, c) the extent to which a stimulus suppressed from vision can still contribute to perceptual grouping and scene interpretation, and d) whether rivalry is affected when dissimilar monocular stimulation is consistent with ecologically valid stimulus conditions. Using several different techniques (test probe procedure, startle reflex, tracking procedure, forced-choice testing), the proposed experiments are intended to resolve outstanding controversies concerning rivalry, including the """"""""eye"""""""" vs. """"""""stimulus"""""""" accounts of rivalry. In addition, results from these proposed experiments will provide guidance to neurophysiologists and cognitive neuro scientists seeking to discover the actual neural concomitants of rivalry.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
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Visual Sciences B Study Section (VISB)
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Oberdorfer, Michael
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Patel, Vaama; Stuit, Sjoerd; Blake, Randolph (2015) Individual differences in the temporal dynamics of binocular rivalry and stimulus rivalry. Psychon Bull Rev 22:476-82
Brascamp, Jan W; Blake, Randolph (2012) Inattention abolishes binocular rivalry: perceptual evidence. Psychol Sci 23:1159-67
Chopin, Adrien; Mamassian, Pascal; Blake, Randolph (2012) Stereopsis and binocular rivalry are based on perceived rather than physical orientations. Vision Res 63:63-8
Ling, Sam; Blake, Randolph (2012) Normalization regulates competition for visual awareness. Neuron 75:531-40
Yang, Eunice; Blake, Randolph (2012) Deconstructing continuous flash suppression. J Vis 12:8
Kang, Min-Suk; Blake, Randolph; Woodman, Geoffrey F (2011) Semantic analysis does not occur in the absence of awareness induced by interocular suppression. J Neurosci 31:13535-45
Blake, Randolph; Wilson, Hugh (2011) Binocular vision. Vision Res 51:754-70
Knapen, Tomas; Brascamp, Jan; Pearson, Joel et al. (2011) The role of frontal and parietal brain areas in bistable perception. J Neurosci 31:10293-301
Kang, Min-Suk; Blake, Randolph (2010) What causes alternations in dominance during binocular rivalry? Atten Percept Psychophys 72:179-86
Jackson, Stuart; Blake, Randolph (2010) Neural integration of information specifying human structure from form, motion, and depth. J Neurosci 30:838-48

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