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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2002 Jan;3(1):13-21.

Visual competition.

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  • 1Vanderbilt Vision Research Center, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37203, USA.


Binocular rivalry--the alternations in perception that occur when different images are presented to the two eyes--has been the subject of intensive investigation for more than 160 years. The psychophysical properties of binocular rivalry have been well described, but newer imaging and electrophysiological techniques have not resolved the issue of where in the brain rivalry occurs. The most recent evidence supports a view of rivalry as a series of processes, each of which is implemented by neural mechanisms at different levels of the visual hierarchy. Although unanswered questions remain, this view of rivalry might allow us to resolve some of the controversies and apparent contradictions that have emerged from its study.

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