Can binocular rivalry reveal neural correlates of consciousness?

Randolph Blake, Jan Brascamp, David J. Heeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This essay critically examines the extent to which binocular rivalry can provide important clues about the neural correlates of conscious visual perception. Our ideas are presented within the framework of four questions about the use of rivalry for this purpose: (i) what constitutes an adequate comparison condition for gauging rivalry's impact on awareness, (ii) how can one distinguish abolished awareness from inattention, (iii) when one obtains unequivocal evidence for a causal link between a fluctuating measure of neural activity and fluctuating perceptual states during rivalry, will it generalize to other stimulus conditions and perceptual phenomena and (iv) does such evidence necessarily indicate that this neural activity constitutes a neural correlate of consciousness? While arriving at sceptical answers to these four questions, the essay nonetheless offers some ideas about how a more nuanced utilization of binocular rivalry may still provide fundamental insights about neural dynamics, and glimpses of at least some of the ingredients comprising neural correlates of consciousness, including those involved in perceptual decision-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20130211
Number of pages1
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume369
Issue number1641
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

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Binoculars
consciousness
Consciousness
Visual Perception
Gaging
decision making
Decision Making
ingredients
Decision making
visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Can binocular rivalry reveal neural correlates of consciousness? / Blake, Randolph; Brascamp, Jan; Heeger, David J.

In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 369, No. 1641, 2014, p. 20130211.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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