November 30, 2020

Eye-specific voluntary attention can induce a shift of perceptual ocular dominance

Ocular dominance plasticity in adults has been extensively studied in the recent decade. An interocular imbalance of visual input, e.g. monocular deprivation, has been proved to markedly reshape ocular dominance. As visual attention can be eye-specific, dissimilar visual inputs from the two eyes during monocular deprivation inevitably lead attention to be more allocated to the monocular input that conveys relatively intact information. Does the imbalanced attention across the eyes also contribute to reshaping ocular dominance? Here, using a novel "backwards-movie" adaptation paradigm, we showed that prolonged attention to the input in one eye was sufficient to shift perceptual ocular dominance in favor of the unattended eye. Furthermore, the effect was stronger when eye-specific attention was directed to the dominant eye, possibly due to fewer disturbances from the other eye during the adaptation. Taken together, these findings suggest that top-down attention plays an important role in short-term ocular dominance plasticity.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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