Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Binocular Rivalry
When two eyes view dissimilar monocular images, those two images resist binocular combination and, instead, engage in competitive interactions that produce fluctuations in perception over time; this phenomenon is called binocular rivalry. This dissertation focuses on the spatiotemporal dynamics of rivalry, within the context of cooperative and competitive interactions transpiring within neural mechanisms representing multiple regions of the visual field. To tackle this problem, I have developed several techniques for studying spatiotemporal dynamics – the partial tracking procedure and the periodic perturbation technique. I have refined the perceptual characteristics of binocular rivalry within the spatiotemporal domain and have advanced the theoretical framework. Specifically, this dissertation has provided two general implications. First, the states of perceptual dominance of the rival stimuli and their alternations over time are the outcome of cooperative and competitive interactions of neural events transpiring within discrete zones. Second, the multi-zone network model of binocular rivalry provides a fruitful theoretical framework for studying spatiotemporal dynamics. Implications of this network model are discussed in the context of perceptual organization.