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Perception. 2011;40(12):1395-401.

The effect of fear in the periphery in binocular rivalry.

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  • 1Vision and Attention Laboratories, School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3FX, Scotland, UK.


The perceived dominance of percepts within a rival pair of images can be influenced by emotional content, with emotional images dominating over neutral images. We investigated this effect in the periphery. Rival gratings and (fearful or neutral) face/house pairs were viewed centrally and with the near edge positioned 1 degrees and 4 degrees from the fixation. Both fearful and neutral faces were perceived as dominant for significantly longer than houses, with fearful faces dominating for significantly longer than neutral faces at all three eccentricities. There was no difference between dominances at 1 degrees and 4 degrees eccentricity, and there was no difference in the dominance of the gratings at any eccentricity. Our findings show that face stimuli, and in particular fearful faces, continue to dominate perception in binocular rivalry even when viewed in the periphery.

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