Chromatic interocular-switch rivalry

Article Info

Christiansen, J.H., D'Antona, A.D., & Shevell, S.K. (2017). Chromatic interocular-switch rivalryJournal of Vision, 17(5), 9. doi: 10.1167/17.5.9. PubMed PMID: 28510624. PMCID: PMC5433803.


Interocular-switch rivalry (also known as stimulus rivalry) is a kind of binocular rivalry in which two rivalrous images are swapped between the eyes several times a second. The result is stable periods of one image and then the other, with stable intervals that span many eye swaps (Logothetis, Leopold, & Sheinberg, 1996). Previous work used this close kin of binocular rivalry with rivalrous forms. Experiments here test whether chromatic interocular-switch rivalry, in which the swapped stimuli differ in only chromaticity, results in slow alternation between two colors. Swapping equiluminant rivalrous chromaticities at 3.75 Hz resulted in slow perceptual color alternation, with one or the other color often continuously visible for two seconds or longer (during which there were 15+ eye swaps). A well-known theory for sustained percepts from interocular-switch rivalry with form is inhibitory competition between binocular neurons driven by monocular neurons with matched orientation tuning in each eye; such binocular neurons would produce a stable response when a given orientation is swapped between the eyes. A similar model can account for the percepts here from chromatic interocular-switch rivalry and is underpinned by the neurophysiological finding that color-preferring binocular neurons are driven by monocular neurons from each eye with well-matched chromatic selectivity (Peirce, Solomon, Forte, & Lennie, 2008). In contrast to chromatic interocular-switch rivalry, luminance interocular-switch rivalry with swapped stimuli that differ in only luminance did not result in slowly alternating percepts of different brightnesses.