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Attending to auditory signals slows visual alternations in binocular rivalry

Alais, David and van Boxtel, Jeroen J. A. and Parker, Amanda and van Ee, Raymond (2010) Attending to auditory signals slows visual alternations in binocular rivalry. Vision Research, 50 (10). pp. 929-935. ISSN 0042-6989.

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A previous study has shown that diverting attention from binocular rivalry to a visual distractor task results in a slowing of rivalry alternation rate between simple orthogonal orientations. Here, we investigate whether the slowing of visual perceptual alternations will occur when attention is diverted to an auditory distractor task, and we extend the investigation by testing this for two kinds of binocular rivalry stimuli and for the Necker cube. Our results show that doing the auditory attention task does indeed slow visual perceptual alternations, that the slowing effect is a graded function of attentional load, and that the attentional slowing effect is less pronounced for grating rivalry than for house/face rivalry and for the Necker cube. These results are explained in terms of supramodal attentional resources modulating a high-level interpretative process in perceptual ambiguity, together with a role for feedback to early visual processes in the case of binocular rivalry.

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Additional Information:© 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Received 4 December 2009; revised 12 March 2010. Available online 23 March 2010.
Group:Koch Laboratory, KLAB
Subject Keywords:Perceptual ambiguity; Binocular rivalry; Audiovisual interactions
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100521-141507898
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Official Citation:David Alais, Jeroen J. van Boxtel, Amanda Parker, Raymond van Ee, Attending to auditory signals slows visual alternations in binocular rivalry, Vision Research, Volume 50, Issue 10, 12 May 2010, Pages 929-935, ISSN 0042-6989, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:18397
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:21 May 2010 22:07
Last Modified:16 Sep 2013 23:49

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