PhD Scientific Days 2019

Budapest, April 25–26, 2019

Developmental and psychopathological differences in the dynamics of the visual system revealed through binocular rivalry

Ziman, Gergő

Gergő Ziman1,2, Zsolt Unoka3, Kinga Farkas3, Stepan Aleshin4,5, Jochen Braun4,5, Ilona Kovács1,2
1 Institute of Psychology, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Mikszáth K. tér 1, 1088, Budapest, Hungary
2 MTA-PPKE Adolescent Development Research Group, Mikszáth K. tér 1, 1088, Budapest, Hungary
3 Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Semmelweis University, Balassa utca 6, 1083, Budapest, Hungary
4 Institute of Biology, Otto-von-Guericke University, Leipzigerstr.,44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany
5 Center for Behavioral Brain Sciences, Leipzigerstr.,44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany

Language of the presentation


Text of the abstract

Introduction: A way to explore the dynamics of visual perception is through binocular rivalry - when we show different images to the two eyes, the two related percepts are alternating in consciousness. It is known that the statistics of rivalry change during development, and that they are different in people with certain psychopathologies, compared to neurotypicals.

Aims: Our aim was to explore the developmental changes of the dynamics underlying binocular rivalry during adolescence, and in old age. We also examined the changes of rivalry patterns in two clinical populations: subjects with autism spectrum disorder, and with borderline personality disorder. Furthermore, we employed a computational model to explore the dynamics underlying binocular rivalry.

Method: We used a paradigm that allows rivalry statistics to be calculated from eye-tracking recordings. To interpret the observed rivalry statistics, we employed a computational model of binocular rivalry (based on interaction between competition, adaptation, and noise).

Results: We find that the observed rivalry statistics differ significantly between groups. In terms of our model, this implies that each group (on average) operates in a particular regime of competition, adaptation, and noise. Functionally, these operating regimes predict different degrees of perceptual sensitivity, variability, and rigidity for each group. One the one hand, there is a clear developmental trend from childhood to young adulthood, which regresses in late adulthood. On the other hand, each adult clinical groups (autism spectrum disorder and borderline personality disorder) differ from neurotypical adults in specific ways.

Conclusion: We conclude that the dynamics underlying binocular rivalry reflect the development of the visual system that is still active in adolescence, and extends to young adulthood. These dynamics also show marked changes in clinical populations, which possibly arise from an atypical developmental course.

Supported by NKFI NN110466.

Data of the presenter

Doctoral School: Mental Health Sciences
Program: Mental Health Sciences
Supervisor: Ilona Kovács
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