Research Output
Similar but separate systems underlie perceptual bistability in vision and audition
  The dynamics of perceptual bistability, the phenomenon in which perception switches between different interpretations of an unchanging stimulus, are characterised by very similar properties across a wide range of qualitatively different paradigms. This suggests that perceptual switching may be triggered by some common source. However, it is also possible that perceptual switching may arise from a distributed system, whose components vary according to the specifics of the perceptual experiences involved. Here we used a visual and an auditory task to determine whether individuals show cross-modal commonalities in perceptual switching. We found that individual perceptual switching rates were significantly correlated across modalities. We then asked whether perceptual switching arises from some central (modality-) task-independent process or from a more distributed task-specific system. We found that a log-normal distribution best explained the distribution of perceptual phases in both modalities, suggestive of a combined set of independent processes causing perceptual switching. Modality- and/or task-dependent differences in these distributions, and lack of correlation with the modality-independent central factors tested (ego-resiliency, creativity, and executive function), also point towards perceptual switching arising from a distributed system of similar but independent processes.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    08 May 2018

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Funders:

    Historic Funder (pre-Worktribe)


Denham, S. L., Farkas, D., van Ee, R., Taranu, M., Kocsis, Z., Wimmer, M., …Winkler, I. (2018). Similar but separate systems underlie perceptual bistability in vision and audition. Scientific Reports, 8,


Monthly Views:

Available Documents
  • pdf

    Similar But Separate Systems Underlie Perceptual Bistability In Vision And Audition


    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. To view a copy of this license, visit

  • Downloadable citations