Cognitive Biology, Magdeburg, Germany
Wednesday 19 March 2008
Seminar Room B10 (Basement)
Alexandra House, 17 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AR
Why does the phenomenal appearance of ambiguous patterns reverse spontaneously?
What neural events precede and prompt these reversals? Of the two factors have been widely suspected “attention and adaptation“, we can rule out the former and fail to find evidence implicating the latter.
Surprisingly, we do find such evidence for a short-term memory of visual appearance. Perceptual states and memory states reverse independently and at widely different time-scales. Taken together, our results suggest that multi-stable perception (and perhaps phenomenal appearance generally) involves a close interaction of perceptual and memory levels.