Dichoptic Viewing Methods for Binocular Rivalry Research: Prospects for Large-Scale Clinical and Genetic Studies
Twin Research and Human Genetics
Binocular rivalry (BR) is an intriguing phenomenon that occurs when two different images are presented, one to each eye, resulting in alternation orrivalrybetween the percepts. The phenomenon has been studied for nearly 200 years, with renewed and intensive investigation over recent decades. Therateof perceptual switching has long been known to vary widely between individuals but to be relatively stable within individuals. A recent twin study demonstrated that individual variation in BR rate is
... under substantial genetic control, a finding that also represented the first report, using a large study, of genetic contribution for any post-retinal visual processing phenomenon. The twin study had been prompted by earlier work showing BR rate was slow in the heritable psychiatric condition, bipolar disorder (BD). Together, these studies suggested that slow BR may represent an endophenotype for BD, and heralded the advent of modern clinical and genetic studies of rivalry. This new focus has coincided with rapid advances in 3D display technology, but despite such progress, specific development of technology for rivalry research has been lacking. This review therefore compares different display methods for BR research across several factors, including viewing parameters, image quality, equipment cost, compatibility with other investigative methods, subject group, and sample size, with a focus on requirements specific to large-scale clinical and genetic studies. It is intended to be a resource for investigators new to BR research, such as clinicians and geneticists, and to stimulate the development of 3D display technology for advancing interdisciplinary studies of rivalry.