Continuous flash suppression reduces negative afterimages

Naotsugu Tsuchiya, Christof Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

534 Citations (Scopus)

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 completely the adaptor was suppressed, the more strongly the afterimage intensity was reduced. 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1096-1101
Number of pages6
JournalNature Neuroscience
Volume8
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes

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