Graduate Student / Postdoc Seminar

Bistable Dynamics of Perceiving Ambiguous Stimuli

Speaker: John Rinzel

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: Friday, October 28, 2016, 1 p.m.


When experiencing an ambiguous sensory stimulus (e.g., the vase-faces image), subjects may report random alternations (time scale, seconds) between the possible interpretations. I will describe dynamical models for neuronal populations that compete through mutual inhibition for dominance - showing alternations, behaving as noisy oscillators or as multistable systems subject to noise-driven switching. In highly idealized formulations networks are percept specific without direct representation of stimulus features. Our recent work involves perception of ambiguous auditory stimuli (e.g., The models explicitly incorporate tone features -- perceptual selectivity is emergent rather than built-in.