Audiovisual interactions in binocular rivalry

Verena Conrad*, Andreas Bartels, Mario Kleiner, Uta Noppeney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


When the two eyes are presented with dissimilar images, human observers report alternating perceptsVa phenomenon coined binocular rivalry. These perceptual fluctuations reflect competition between the two visual inputs both at monocular and binocular processing stages. Here we investigated the influence of auditory stimulation on the temporal dynamics of binocular rivalry. In three psychophysics experiments, we investigated whether sounds that provide directionally congruent, incongruent, or non-motion information modulate the dominance periods of rivaling visual motion percepts. Visual stimuli were dichoptically presented random-dot kinematograms (RDKs) at different levels of motion coherence. The results show that directional motion sounds rather than auditory input per se influenced the temporal dynamics of binocular rivalry. In all experiments, motion sounds prolonged the dominance periods of the directionally congruent visual motion percept. In contrast, motion sounds abbreviated the suppression periods of the directionally congruent visual motion percepts only when they competed with directionally incongruent percepts. Therefore, analogous to visual contextual effects, auditory motion interacted primarily with consciously perceived visual input rather than visual input suppressed from awareness. Our findings suggest that auditory modulation of perceptual dominance times might be established in a top-down fashion by means of feedback mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Ambiguous stimuli
  • Audiovisual
  • Binocular rivalry
  • Cross-modal
  • Motion perception
  • Multisensory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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