Unitary vs Piecemeal Rivalry: Demonstrations

In the literature, you may read that binocular rivalry entails alternating periods of dominance and suppression between discordant views seen by the left and right eyes. Particularly for large rival stimuli, however, this characterization is not entirely correct. Rather than alternating between periods of exclusive dominance of one eye's view and then the other eye's view, one often experiences a fluctuating patchwork consisting of intermingled portions of both eyes' views (Meenes, 1930); the incidence of "patchwork" rivalry increases with prolonged viewing of rival targets (Hollins and Hudnell, 1980). View the pairs of rival targets below, paying particular attention to the incidence of mixed dominance wherein the binocular view consists of bits and pieces of both orientations. For a discussion of the possible implications of piecemeal rivalry, see Blake et al (1992).






Blake, R., O'Shea, R. P. and Mueller, T. J., 1992: Spatial zones of binocular rivalry in central and peripheral vision, Visual Neurosci. 8, 469-478.
Hollins, M. And Hudnell, K., 1980: Adaptation of the binocular rivalry mechanism, Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., 19, 1117-1120.
Meenes, M., 1930: A phenomenological description of retinal rivalry, Amer. J. Psychol. 42, 260-269.