Continuous flash suppression reduces negative afterimages
Keywords:binocular rivalry, flash suppression, continuous flash suppression, afterimage, consciousness, awareness
Deposited by:Dr. Nao (Naotsugu) Tsuchiya
Date of Issue:2004
Journal/Publication Title:Nature Neuroscience
Abstract:Illusions that produce perceptual suppression despite constant retinal input are used to manipulate visual consciousness. Here we report on a powerful variant of existing techniques, continuous flash suppression. Distinct images flashed successively at ~10 Hz into one eye reliably suppress an image presented to the other eye. The duration of perceptual suppression is at least ten times greater than that produced by binocular rivalry. Using this tool we show that the strength of the negative afterimage of an adaptor was reduced by half when it was perceptually suppressed by input from the other eye. The more likely the adaptor was completely suppressed, the larger the reduction of the afterimage intensity. Paradoxically, trial-to-trial visibility of the adaptor did not correlate with the degree of reduction. Our results imply that formation of afterimages involves neuronal structures that access input from both eyes, but that do not correspond directly to the neuronal correlates of perceptual awareness.