1. Neuroscience
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Attention periodically samples competing stimuli during binocular rivalry

  1. Matthew J Davidson  Is a corresponding author
  2. David Alais
  3. Jeroen JA van Boxtel  Is a corresponding author
  4. Naotsugu Tsuchiya  Is a corresponding author
  1. Monash University, Australia
  2. The University of Sydney, Australia
Research Article
  • Cited 4
  • Views 2,351
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Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e40868 doi: 10.7554/eLife.40868

Abstract

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.

Data availability

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).

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Matthew J Davidson

    School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
    For correspondence
    mjd070@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2088-040X
  2. David Alais

    School of Psychology, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Jeroen JA van Boxtel

    School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
    For correspondence
    jeroen.van.boxtel@monash.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-2643-0474
  4. Naotsugu Tsuchiya

    School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
    For correspondence
    Naotsugu.Tsuchiya@monash.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

Australian Research Council (FT120100619)

  • Naotsugu Tsuchiya

Australian Research Council (DP130100194)

  • Naotsugu Tsuchiya

Australian Research Council (DP150101731)

  • David Alais

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

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)

Reviewing Editor

  1. Marisa Carrasco, New York University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: August 8, 2018
  2. Accepted: November 19, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: December 3, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: December 18, 2018 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2018, Davidson et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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