The attentional sampling hypothesis suggests that attention rhythmically enhances sensory processing when attending to a single (~8 Hz), or multiple (~4 Hz) objects. Here we investigated whether attention samples sensory representations that are not part of the conscious percept during binocular rivalry. When crossmodally cued toward a conscious image, subsequent changes in consciousness occurred at ~8 Hz, consistent with rates of undivided attentional sampling. However, when attention was cued toward the suppressed image, changes in consciousness slowed to ~3.5 Hz, indicating the division of attention away from the conscious visual image. In the electroencephalogram, we found that at attentional sampling frequencies, the strength of inter-trial phase-coherence over fronto-temporal and parieto-occipital regions correlated with changes in perception. When cues were not task-relevant, these effects disappeared, confirming that perceptual changes were dependent upon the allocation of attention, and that attention can flexibly sample away from a conscious image in a task-dependent manner.
The raw data in this study are available via the Monash University Figshare repository (https://figshare.com/projects/Crossmodal_binocular_rivalry_attention_sampling_project/56252). Analysis code is available via GitHub (https://github.com/Davidson-MJ/BRproject-attentionsampling).
- Naotsugu Tsuchiya
- Naotsugu Tsuchiya
- David Alais
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: This research involved human subjects. Participants gave their written informed consent to participate in the experiment. Experimental procedures were approved by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (CF12/2542 - 2012001375)
- Marisa Carrasco, New York University, United States
© 2018, Davidson et al.
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