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The subliminal perception of movement and the 'suppression' in binocular rivalry.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date08/1975
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Number of pages10
Original languageEnglish


An analogy is drawn between the perceptual limitation that characterizes the dichotic listening paradigm and the ‘suppression’ that occurs in binocular rivalry when different stimuli are presented to the two eyes. An experiment is reported which focuses on the fate of the information residing in a suppressed eye (unattended channel) during binocular rivalry. It is demonstrated that the temporal course of rivalry is sensitive to the presence of a subliminal moving stimulus within the currently suppressed field. The effects are seen to confirm a literal interpretation of Levelt's (1966) thesis which relates changes in the ‘stimulus strength’ of a rivalling field to subsequent changes in the temporal course of the phenomenon. This interpretation is consistent with the hypothesis that, despite phenomenal suppression, a full analysis is undertaken on the currently non-dominant stimulus. The data are related to models of selective attention, and to the notion that there are parallel visual systems.