Does Binocular Rivalry Emerge from Cortical Mechanisms of 3D Vision
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Under natural viewing conditions, a single depthful percept of the world is consciously seen. When dissimilar images are presented to corresponding regions of the two eyes, binocular rivalry may occur, during which the brain consciously perceives alternating percepts through time. Perceptual bistability can also occur in response to a single ambiguous figure. These percepts raise basic questions: What brain mechanisms generate a single depthful percept of the world? How do the same mechanisms cause perceptual bistability, notably binocular rivalry? What properties of brain representations correspond to consciously seen percepts? How do the dynamics of the layered circuits of visual cortex generate single and bistable percepts? A laminar cortical model of how cortical areas V1, V2, and V4 generate depthful percepts is developed to explain and quantitatively simulate binocular rivalry data. The model proposes how mechanisms of cortical development, perceptual grouping, and figure-ground perception lead to single and rivalrous percepts.