Research Repository

Voluntary control and the dynamics of perceptual bi-stability

Van Ee, R and Van Dam, LCJ and Brouwer, GJ (2005) 'Voluntary control and the dynamics of perceptual bi-stability.' Vision Research, 45 (1). 41 - 55. ISSN 0042-6989

1-s2.0-S0042698904003827-main.pdf - Published Version

Download (621kB) | Preview


Voluntary control and conscious perception seem to be related: when we are confronted with ambiguous images we are in some cases and to some extent able to voluntarily select a percept. However, to date voluntary control has not been used in neurophysiological studies on the correlates of conscious perception, presumably because the dynamic of perceptual reversals was not suitable. We exposed the visual system to four ambiguous stimuli that instigate bi-stable perception: slant rivalry, orthogonal grating rivalry, house-face rivalry, and Necker cube rivalry. In the preceding companion paper [van Ee, R. (2005). Dynamics of perceptual bi-stability for stereoscopic slant rivalry and a comparison with grating, house-face, and Necker cube rivalry. Vision Research] we focussed on the temporal dynamics of the perceptual reversals. Here we examined the role of voluntary control in the dynamics of perceptual reversals. We asked subjects to attempt to hold percepts and to speed-up the perceptual reversals. The investigations across the four stimuli revealed qualitative similarities concerning the influence of voluntary control on the temporal dynamics of perceptual reversals. We also found differences. In comparison to the other rivalry stimuli, slant rivalry exhibits: (1) relatively long percept durations; (2) a relatively clear role of voluntary control in modifying the percept durations. We advocate that these aspects, alongside with its metrical (quantitative) aspects, potentially make slant rivalry an interesting tool in studying the neural underpinnings of visual awareness. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2016 15:53
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2018 15:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item