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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 5, Iss. 1 — Jan. 4, 2010

Stochastic variations in sensory awareness are driven by noisy neuronal adaptation: evidence from serial correlations in perceptual bistability

Raymond van Ee  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 26, Issue 12, pp. 2612-2622 (2009)

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When the sensory system is subjected to ambiguous input, perception alternates between interpretations in a seemingly random fashion. Although neuronal noise obviously plays a role, the neural mechanism for the generation of randomness at the slow time scale of the percept durations (multiple seconds) is unresolved. Here significant nonzero serial correlations are reported in series of visual percept durations (to the author's knowledge for the first time accounting for duration impurities caused by reaction time, drift, and incomplete percepts). Serial correlations for perceptual rivalry using structure-from-motion ambiguity were smaller than for binocular rivalry using orthogonal gratings. A spectrum of computational models is considered, and it is concluded that noise in adaptation of percept-related neurons causes the serial correlations. This work bridges, in a physiologically plausible way, widely appreciated deterministic modeling and randomness in experimental observations of visual rivalry.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(330.4060) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision modeling
(330.5020) Vision, color, and visual optics : Perception psychology
(330.5510) Vision, color, and visual optics : Psychophysics
(330.7320) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision adaptation

ToC Category:
Vision, Color, and Visual Optics

Original Manuscript: July 10, 2009
Revised Manuscript: October 11, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: October 22, 2009
Published: November 18, 2009

Virtual Issues
Vol. 5, Iss. 1 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Raymond van Ee, "Stochastic variations in sensory awareness are driven by noisy neuronal adaptation: evidence from serial correlations in perceptual bistability," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 26, 2612-2622 (2009)

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