Caloric vestibular stimulation reveals discrete neural mechanisms for coherence rivalry and eye rivalry: a meta-rivalry model

Ngo, Trung T. and Liu, Guang B. and Tilley, Andrew J. and Pettigrew, John D. and Miller, Steven M. (2007) Caloric vestibular stimulation reveals discrete neural mechanisms for coherence rivalry and eye rivalry: a meta-rivalry model. Vision Research, 47 (21). pp. 2685-2699. ISSN 0042-6989

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Binocular rivalry is an extraordinary visual phenomenon that has engaged investigators for centuries. Since its first report, there has been vigorous debate over how the brain achieves the perceptual alternations that occur when conflicting images are presented simultaneously, one to each eye. Opposing high-level/stimulus-representation models and low-level/eye-based models have been proposed to explain the phenomenon, recently merging into an amalgam view. Here, we provide evidence that during viewing of Dı´az-Caneja stimuli, coherence rivalry—in which aspects of each eye’s presented image are perceptually regrouped into rivalling coherent images—and eye rivalry operate via discrete neural mechanisms. We demonstrate that high-level brain activation by unilateral caloric vestibular stimulation shifts the predominance of perceived coherent images (coherence rivalry) but not half-field images (eye rivalry). This finding suggests that coherence rivalry (like conventional rivalry according to our previous studies) is mediated by interhemispheric switching at a high level, while eye rivalry is mediated by intrahemispheric mechanisms, most likely at a low level. Based on the present data, we further propose that Dı´az-Caneja stimuli induce ‘meta-rivalry’ whereby the discrete high- and low-level competitive processes themselves rival for visual consciousness.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version unavailable in electronic format.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:22
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:50
Uncontrolled Keywords: binocular rivalry; bottom-up versus top-down processing; amalgam view; interocular grouping; multistability; coherence rivalry; caloric vestibular stimulation; interhemispheric switching; meta-rivalry; visual consciousness
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1109 Neurosciences > 110906 Sensory Systems
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170205 Neurocognitive Patterns and Neural Networks
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1113 Ophthalmology and Optometry > 111303 Vision Science
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2007.03.024

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