Researchers today in neuroscience and cognitive psychology increasingly turn their attention to binocular rivalry and other forms of perceptual ambiguity or bistability. The study of fluctuations in visual perception in the face of unchanging visual input offers a means for understanding the link between neural events and visual events, including visual awareness. Some neuroscientists believe that binocular rivalry reveals a fundamental aspect of human cognition and provides a way to isolate and study brain areas involved in attention and selection. The eighteen essays collected in "Binocular Rivalry" present the most recent theoretical and empirical work on this key topic by leading researchers in the field. After the opening chapter's overview of the major characteristics of binocular rivalry in their historical contexts, the contributors consider topics ranging from the basic phenomenon of perceptual ambiguity to brain models and neural networks. The essays illustrate the potential power of the study of perceptual ambiguity as a tool for learning about the neural concomitants of visual awareness, or, as they have been called, the "neural correlates of consciousness."
"Our two eyes normally work in harmony, but if they look at very different things the result is a curious alternation of perception called binocular rivalry. As with so many other perceptual illusions (such as apparent motion, constancy effects, and shape from shading), rivalry was regarded mainly as a curiosity in the past. In the last two decades, though, there has been a tremendous resurgence of interest, thanks to a handful of young researchers, including Randolph Blake. This collection presents a valuable cross section of ideas on the subject and is a refreshing antidote to the tedium of humdrum 'classical' psychophysics that until recently have dominated the field."--V.S. Ramachandran, Professor and Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego "In *From Molecule to Metaphor*, Jerome Feldman takes us on a fascinating tour through the mysteries of the human brain, revealing new and unexpected vistas. The ideas are deep, as should be expected from one of the pioneers in the field, but also lucidly presented for the nonspecialist reader."--V.S. Ramachandran, Professor and Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego