Psychophysics of binocular rivalry
For a given visual stimulus, much can be inferred about its neural representation by measuring an observer’s responses on simple behavioral tasks. This is the essence of psychophysics, the method of examining sensory processing by studying the relation between stimulation and perception or behavior. Binocular rivalry is the phenomenon of alternating perception that occurs when the two eyes receive conflicting images. Psychophysical techniques have been used extensively in combination with rivalry, both to investigate the phenomenon itself, and using rivalry as a tool for addressing other questions. Recent techniques have permitted major advances in both areas, as we discuss here. We will also summarize the value and limitations of rivalry for consciousness research.