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Multi-Timescale Perceptual History Resolves Visual Ambiguity

Brascamp, Jan W. and Knapen, Tomas H. J. and Kanai, Ryota and Noest, André J. and van Ee, Raymond (2008) Multi-Timescale Perceptual History Resolves Visual Ambiguity. PLoS ONE, 3 (1). e1497. ISSN 1932-6203. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:BRAplosone08

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Abstract

When visual input is inconclusive, does previous experience aid the visual system in attaining an accurate perceptual interpretation? Prolonged viewing of a visually ambiguous stimulus causes perception to alternate between conflicting interpretations. When viewed intermittently, however, ambiguous stimuli tend to evoke the same percept on many consecutive presentations. This perceptual stabilization has been suggested to reflect persistence of the most recent percept throughout the blank that separates two presentations. Here we show that the memory trace that causes stabilization reflects not just the latest percept, but perception during a much longer period. That is, the choice between competing percepts at stimulus reappearance is determined by an elaborate history of prior perception. Specifically, we demonstrate a seconds-long influence of the latest percept, as well as a more persistent influence based on the relative proportion of dominance during a preceding period of at least one minute. In case short-term perceptual history and long-term perceptual history are opposed (because perception has recently switched after prolonged stabilization), the long-term influence recovers after the effect of the latest percept has worn off, indicating independence between time scales. We accommodate these results by adding two positive adaptation terms, one with a short time constant and one with a long time constant, to a standard model of perceptual switching.


Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© 2008 Brascamp et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Received November 8, 2007; Accepted December 9, 2007; Published January 30, 2008. The authors thank Jeroen van Boxtel, Wim van de Grind, Bart Krekelberg, Erik Slootweg, Nao Tsuchiya and Tutis Vilis for valuable comments on previous versions of the manuscript. Author Contributions: Conceived and designed the experiments: RK TK JB. Performed the experiments: TK JB. Analyzed the data: JB. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: Bv RK Rv. Wrote the paper: TK JB. Other: Contributed to model analysis: AN. Contributed to the paper: AN Bv Rv RK. Funding: The authors have no support or funding to report. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:BRAplosone08
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:BRAplosone08
Alternative URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0001497
Official Citation:Brascamp JW, Knapen TH, Kanai R, Noest AJ, van Ee R, et al (2008) Multi-Timescale Perceptual History Resolves Visual Ambiguity. PLoS ONE 3(1): e1497. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001497
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10325
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:30 Apr 2008
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:08

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