Change not State: Perceptual coupling in multistable displays reflects transient bias induced by perceptual change

Faculty/Professorship: General Psychology and Methodology  
Author(s): Pastukhov, Alexander  ; Carbon, Claus-Christian  
Title of the Journal: Psychonomic bulletin & review
ISSN: 1531-5320, 1069-9384
Publisher Information: New York, NY, USA : Springer
Year of publication: 2022
Volume: 29
Issue: 1
Pages: 97-107
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.3758/s13423-021-01960-7
We investigated how changes in dynamic spatial context influence visual perception. Specifically, we reexamined the perceptual coupling phenomenon when two multistable displays viewed simultaneously tend to be in the same dominant state and switch in accord. Current models assume this interaction reflecting mutual bias produced by a dominant perceptual state. In contrast, we demonstrate that influence of spatial context is strongest when perception changes. First, we replicated earlier work using bistable kinetic-depth effect displays, then extended it by employing asynchronous presentation to show that perceptual coupling cannot be accounted for by the static context provided by perceptually dominant states. Next, we demonstrated that perceptual coupling reflects transient bias induced by perceptual change, both in ambiguous and disambiguated displays. We used a hierarchical Bayesian model to characterize its timing, demonstrating that the transient bias is induced 50–70 ms after the exogenous trigger event and decays within ~200–300 ms. Both endogenous and exogenous switches led to quantitatively and qualitatively similar perceptual consequences, activating similar perceptual reevaluation mechanisms within a spatial surround. We explain how they can be understood within a transient selective visual attention framework or using local lateral connections within sensory representations. We suggest that observed perceptual effects reflect general mechanisms of perceptual inference for dynamic visual scene perception.
GND Keywords: Visuelle Wahrnehmung; Aufmerksamkeit
Keywords: Visual perception, Multistability, Perceptual coupling, Switch transient, Selective attention
DDC Classification: 150 Psychology  
RVK Classification: CP 2500   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 21. July 2022