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Trends Cogn Sci. 2002 Mar 1;6(3):120-125.

Visual masking and RSVP reveal neural competition.

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Istituto di Fisiologia Umana, Universita di Parma, Via Volturno 39, I-43100, Parma, Italy


A test visual stimulus is harder to recognize when another stimulus is presented in close temporal vicinity; presenting stimuli in close spatial vicinity of a test stimulus reduces its visibility; presenting a stimulus to one eye can render invisible another stimulus presented to the other eye; and perceiving one interpretation of an ambiguous image prevents the simultaneous perception of other visual interpretations. A single, neurophysiological theory, which may be called 'neural competition' might explain all these phenomena: when two alternative neural visual representations co-exist in the brain, they compete against each other.


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