This proposal will use psychophysical techniques, together with computational modeling, 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 fluctuations in perception that continues as long as the eyes view discordant stimuli. The study of binocular rivalry, as well as other forms of multi-stable perception, bears importantly on a number of key issues in vision science: perceptual organization, dynamical systems, visual awareness, attention and, possibly, neural bases of strabismic suppression (a developmentally-based disorder of binocular vision that affects an estimated 5% of the population). Interest in binocular rivalry has grown considerably in recent years, sparked in part by previous work from the principle investigator's laboratory. Still, important issues remain unresolved, issues concerning the determinants of rivalry and its underlying neural bases. Building on earlier work supported by EY13358, the proposed studies will explore several of these issues: a) the role of neural adaptation in triggering the instability of rivalry dominance (dynamics), a problem highlighted by computational models of rivalry, b) the residual effectiveness of a suppressed stimulus as revealed by visual adaptation aftereffects (suppression), c) determinants of initial dominance in rivalry (selection), with particular emphasis on affective and attentional factors, and d) the influence of attention on rivalry dominance (predominance), an influence implied by recent accounts of rivalry. Using psychophysical techniques paired with quantitative modeling, the proposed experiments will resolve outstanding controversies concerning rivalry, including the role of neural adaptation and """"""""top-down"""""""" cognitive factors in selection, dominance and suppression. Among the psychophysical techniques is a new, objective procedure for creating records of rivalry dynamics. Results from these studies will guide refinement and amalgamation of recent computational models of rivalry and will test predictions from a newly proposed account of binocular suppression. Finally, results from these experiments will guide neurophysiologists and cognitive neuroscientists seeking to discover the actual neural concomitants of multi-stable perception. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
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Central Visual Processing Study Section (CVP)
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Oberdorfer, Michael
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Schools of Medicine
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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