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On the role of attention in binocular rivalry: electrophysiological evidence.

Roeber U, Veser S, Schröger E, O'Shea RP - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: We found, surprisingly, that attending to rival gratings yielded a smaller ERP component (the N1, from 160-210 ms) than attending to the fixation target.To explain this paradoxical effect of attention, we propose that rivalry occurs in the attend-to-fixation condition (we found an ERP signature of rivalry in the form of a sustained negativity from 210-300 ms) but that the mechanism processing the stimulus changes is more adapted in the attend-to-grating condition than in the attend-to-fixation condition.This is consistent with the theory that adaptation gives rise to changes of visual consciousness during binocular rivalry.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Psychology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany. urte@uni-leipzig.de

ABSTRACT
During binocular rivalry visual consciousness fluctuates between two dissimilar monocular images. We investigated the role of attention in this phenomenon by comparing event-related potentials (ERPs) when binocular-rivalry stimuli were attended with when they were unattended. Stimuli were dichoptic, orthogonal gratings that yielded binocular rivalry and dioptic, identically oriented gratings that yielded binocular fusion. Events were all possible orthogonal changes in orientation of one or both gratings. We had two attention conditions: In the attend-to-grating condition, participants had to report changes in perceived orientation, focussing their attention on the gratings. In the attend-to-fixation condition participants had to report changes in a central fixation target, taking attention away from the gratings. We found, surprisingly, that attending to rival gratings yielded a smaller ERP component (the N1, from 160-210 ms) than attending to the fixation target. To explain this paradoxical effect of attention, we propose that rivalry occurs in the attend-to-fixation condition (we found an ERP signature of rivalry in the form of a sustained negativity from 210-300 ms) but that the mechanism processing the stimulus changes is more adapted in the attend-to-grating condition than in the attend-to-fixation condition. This is consistent with the theory that adaptation gives rise to changes of visual consciousness during binocular rivalry.

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ERPs to changes in both eyes.(a) ERPs averaged within clusters of six electrodes at frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital regions for the left and right hemispheres involving orientation changes in one eye (rivalry–rivalry—dotted lines and fusion–fusion—solid lines) from the attend-to-grating condition (black lines) and from the attend-to-fixation condition (blue lines). The major ERP components are marked with letters (P1, N1). Again, the N1 is greater in the attend-to-fixation conditions than in the attend-to-grating conditions; this is most pronounced from the occipital sites.
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pone-0022612-g003: ERPs to changes in both eyes.(a) ERPs averaged within clusters of six electrodes at frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital regions for the left and right hemispheres involving orientation changes in one eye (rivalry–rivalry—dotted lines and fusion–fusion—solid lines) from the attend-to-grating condition (black lines) and from the attend-to-fixation condition (blue lines). The major ERP components are marked with letters (P1, N1). Again, the N1 is greater in the attend-to-fixation conditions than in the attend-to-grating conditions; this is most pronounced from the occipital sites.

Mentions: We show the ERP data in Figure 2 and Figure 3. To be consistent with convention, we show a plan view of a human head with the nose at the top. This means that we show ERPs from the clusters of six frontal electrodes at the top, then from six temporal electrodes, then from six parietal electrodes, and then from six occipital electrodes at the bottom of the figure. We expect the key differences in ERP components to occur in the occipital electrodes, where visual ERPs and their attentional modulation are most prominent [32] — these are the ones to look at first in the figures.


On the role of attention in binocular rivalry: electrophysiological evidence.

Roeber U, Veser S, Schröger E, O'Shea RP - PLoS ONE (2011)

ERPs to changes in both eyes.(a) ERPs averaged within clusters of six electrodes at frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital regions for the left and right hemispheres involving orientation changes in one eye (rivalry–rivalry—dotted lines and fusion–fusion—solid lines) from the attend-to-grating condition (black lines) and from the attend-to-fixation condition (blue lines). The major ERP components are marked with letters (P1, N1). Again, the N1 is greater in the attend-to-fixation conditions than in the attend-to-grating conditions; this is most pronounced from the occipital sites.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3142186&req=5

pone-0022612-g003: ERPs to changes in both eyes.(a) ERPs averaged within clusters of six electrodes at frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital regions for the left and right hemispheres involving orientation changes in one eye (rivalry–rivalry—dotted lines and fusion–fusion—solid lines) from the attend-to-grating condition (black lines) and from the attend-to-fixation condition (blue lines). The major ERP components are marked with letters (P1, N1). Again, the N1 is greater in the attend-to-fixation conditions than in the attend-to-grating conditions; this is most pronounced from the occipital sites.
Mentions: We show the ERP data in Figure 2 and Figure 3. To be consistent with convention, we show a plan view of a human head with the nose at the top. This means that we show ERPs from the clusters of six frontal electrodes at the top, then from six temporal electrodes, then from six parietal electrodes, and then from six occipital electrodes at the bottom of the figure. We expect the key differences in ERP components to occur in the occipital electrodes, where visual ERPs and their attentional modulation are most prominent [32] — these are the ones to look at first in the figures.

Bottom Line: We found, surprisingly, that attending to rival gratings yielded a smaller ERP component (the N1, from 160-210 ms) than attending to the fixation target.To explain this paradoxical effect of attention, we propose that rivalry occurs in the attend-to-fixation condition (we found an ERP signature of rivalry in the form of a sustained negativity from 210-300 ms) but that the mechanism processing the stimulus changes is more adapted in the attend-to-grating condition than in the attend-to-fixation condition.This is consistent with the theory that adaptation gives rise to changes of visual consciousness during binocular rivalry.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Psychology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany. urte@uni-leipzig.de

ABSTRACT
During binocular rivalry visual consciousness fluctuates between two dissimilar monocular images. We investigated the role of attention in this phenomenon by comparing event-related potentials (ERPs) when binocular-rivalry stimuli were attended with when they were unattended. Stimuli were dichoptic, orthogonal gratings that yielded binocular rivalry and dioptic, identically oriented gratings that yielded binocular fusion. Events were all possible orthogonal changes in orientation of one or both gratings. We had two attention conditions: In the attend-to-grating condition, participants had to report changes in perceived orientation, focussing their attention on the gratings. In the attend-to-fixation condition participants had to report changes in a central fixation target, taking attention away from the gratings. We found, surprisingly, that attending to rival gratings yielded a smaller ERP component (the N1, from 160-210 ms) than attending to the fixation target. To explain this paradoxical effect of attention, we propose that rivalry occurs in the attend-to-fixation condition (we found an ERP signature of rivalry in the form of a sustained negativity from 210-300 ms) but that the mechanism processing the stimulus changes is more adapted in the attend-to-grating condition than in the attend-to-fixation condition. This is consistent with the theory that adaptation gives rise to changes of visual consciousness during binocular rivalry.

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