Top-down Disambiguation in Multisensory Binocular Rivalry

[Speaker] Kim, Sungyong:1
[Co-author] Kim, Jeounghoon:1
1:KAIST (Korea(Republic of Korea))

When two eyes view dissimilar images, the subjective perception fluctuates in ambiguity between two inputs. Recent studies reported that congruent cross-modal sensory information could modulate the temporal dynamics of binocular rivalry. However, underlying neural mechanism for the temporal modulation in cross-modal binocular rivalry is not clear. We examined two previously suggested mechanisms, low-level cross-modal excitation and top-down feedback, by designing two sets of congruent audio-visual stimuli (synchronized flickering or semantic congruence). Results showed that low-level flicker pattern was insufficient to modulate the temporal dynamics of binocular rivalry, whereas high-level semantic stimuli could disambiguate the rivalry by enhancing the predominance and suppressing piecemeal state. This result suggests that the locus of cross-modal binocular rivalry lies beyond low-level multisensory excitation, putting more weight on hierarchical top-down feedback as the neural basis. The observed top-down disambiguation effect on multisensory binocular rivalry will be discussed under the framework of predictive coding hypothesis.
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