Lunghi C, Binda P, Morrone M C, 2009, "Influence of haptic stimulation on binocular rivalry" Perception 38 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 152
Influence of haptic stimulation on binocular rivalry
C Lunghi, P Binda, M C Morrone
Signals arising from the different sensory modalities are integrated by our nervous system in order to coherently perceive the external world. We investigated whether haptic stimulation influences binocular rivalry, a special case of perceptual bistability triggered at an early stage of processing. Rival visual stimuli were orthogonally oriented (vertical/horizontal) Gabor patches. While reporting visual perception, subjects touched a sinusoidal milled Plexiglas which spatial frequency was matched with the visual stimuli. The overall dominance proportion and the mean dominance phase duration of the vertical visual stimulus significantly increased when subjects touched the vertical stimulus. For brief periods of haptic stimulation (3.5 s), the probability of making one inversion of dominance significantly decreased when visual and haptic stimuli were congruent; it significantly increased when the visual and the haptic stimulus were incongruent. The dynamics of inversions revealed that touch had the effect of preventing perceptual inversions when visual and haptic stimuli were congruent. Our results indicate that haptic stimulation influences binocular rivalry by promoting dominance of the congruent visual percept. We suggest that the integration of haptic and visual signals facilitates dominance of the visual percept congruent with haptic stimulation by boosting its signal, leading to the disambiguation of a bistable percept.
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