Researchers today in neuroscience and cognitive psychology increasingly turn their attention to binocular rivalry and other forms of perceptual ambiguity or bistability. The study of fluctuations in visual perception in the face of unchanging visual input offers a means for understanding the link between neural events and visual events, including visual awareness. Some neuroscientists believe that binocular rivalry reveals a fundamental aspect of human cognition and provides a way to isolate and study brain areas involved in attention and selection. The eighteen essays collected in Binocular Rivalry present the most recent theoretical and empirical work on this key topic by leading researchers in the field.
After the opening chapter's overview of the major characteristics of binocular rivalry in their historical contexts, the contributors consider topics ranging from the basic phenomenon of perceptual ambiguity to brain models and neural networks. The essays illustrate the potential power of the study of perceptual ambiguity as a tool for learning about the neural concomitants of visual awareness, or, as they have been called, the "neural correlates of consciousness."