David Alais is Australian Research Fellow at the Auditory Research Laboratory, Department of Physiology, University of Sydney.
Randolph Blake is Centennial Professor of Psychology,a Fellow of the Kennedy Center for Integrative Development, and a member of the Venderbilt Vision Center, at Vanderbilt University.
Recent work on perceptual ambiguity and its implications for the correlation between neural events and perceptual experience.
Researchers today in neuroscience and cognitive psychology increasingly turn their attention to binocular rivalry and other forms of perceptual ambiguity or bistability. The study of fluctuations in visual perception in the face of unchanging visual input offers a means for understanding the link between neural events and visual events, including visual awareness. Some neuroscientists believe that binocular rivalry reveals a fundamental aspect of human cognition and provides a way to isolate and study brain areas involved in attention and selection. The eighteen essays collected in Binocular Rivalry present the most recent theoretical and empirical work on this key topic by leading researchers in the field.
After the opening chapter's overview of the major characteristics of binocular rivalry in their historical contexts, the contributors consider topics ranging from the basic phenomenon of perceptual ambiguity to brain models and neural networks. The essays illustrate the potential power of the study of perceptual ambiguity as a tool for learning about the neural concomitants of visual awareness, or, as they have been called, the "neural correlates of consciousness."
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