Extending Levelt's Propositions to perceptual multistability involving interocular grouping

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Abstract

Levelt's Propositions are central to understanding a wide range of multistable perceptual phenomena, but it is unclear whether they extend to perceptual multistability involving interocular grouping. We presented split-grating stimuli with complementary halves of the same color (either red or green) to human subjects. The subjects reported four percepts in alternation: the two stimuli presented to each eye (half red and half green), as well as the two single color (all red or all green), interocularly grouped percepts. Increasing color saturation lead to increased reports of the single color percept in most subjects, indicating increased predominance of grouped percepts (Levelt's Proposition I). This increase in predominance was due to a decrease in the average dominance duration of single-eye percepts, with grouped percept dominance largely unaffected. This agrees with a generalization of Levelt's Proposition II, as the average dominance duration of the stronger (in this case single-eye) percept was primarily affected by changes in stimulus strength. Moreover, in agreement with Levelt's Proposition III the alternation rate between percepts increased as the difference in the strength of the percepts decreased.

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