When the brain' changes its mind: interocular grouping during binocular rivalry

I. Kovacs, T. V. Papathomas, A. Fehér

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. Conventional rivalry-inducing stimuli are pairs of dissimilar images with coherent patterns within each eye's image (such as gratings of orthogonal orientations, or blobs of opposite colors). Is it the eye of origin or the coherency of patterns that determines perceptual alternations between coherent percepts in binocular rivalry? Methods. We break the monocular coherency of conventional stimuli and replace them by complementary patchworks of intermingled rivalrous images. Can the brain unscramble the pieces of the patchwork arriving from different eyes to obtain a global percept? Percepts with conventional, globally coherent image-pairs (e.g., a monkey face vs. a jungle scene) are compared to those obtained with the patchwork image pairs (spatially complementing pieces of the monkey and the jungle in each image). Results. We find that pattern coherency in itself can drive perceptual alternations in binocular rivalry, and the patchworks are interocularly grouped into coherent forms. Conclusions. Binocular rivalry goes beyond interocular suppression and follows more complex rules of perceptual organization (see also J. Beusmans, Soc Neurosci 1996; D. Leopold and N. Logothetis, Nature 1996, 379:549-552). The results indicate that the neural locus of binocular rivalry is beyond the input layer of the primary visual cortex.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)S487
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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