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Spatial zones of binocular rivalry in central and peripheral vision

  • Randolph Blake, Robert P. O'Shea (a1) and T. J. Mueller (a1)

This paper presents results from psychophysical experiments on human binocular rivalry in central and peripheral vision. Results show that the incidence of periods of exclusive visibility of a given eye's rival target increased with decreasing target size, and for a given sized target exclusive visibility increased with retinal eccentricity. Control measures confirmed that these results were not attributable solely to reduced peripheral acuity, to Troxler's effect, or to spatial frequency. We computed the minimum-sized stimulus that would lead to a criterion level of exclusive visibility of one or the other eye; this we term the spatial zone of binocular rivalry. The change in estimated size of spatial zones of rivalry with eccentricity compares favorably with estimates of human cortical magnification. We propose a model that assumes concentrically organized zones of rivalry. These zones do not function independently, but instead exhibit a high degree of mutual excitatory cooperativity. The model has multiple solutions for the foveal zone size, but the best fits predict a diameter of 5.3 or 7.3 min of visual angle; these values dovetail nicely with our empirical estimates of the foveal zone size.

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Visual Neuroscience
  • ISSN: 0952-5238
  • EISSN: 1469-8714
  • URL: /core/journals/visual-neuroscience
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