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Bistable perception, precision and neuromodulation

Novicky, Filip; Parr, Thomas; Friston, Karl; Mirza, Muammer Berk; Sajid, Noor; (2023) Bistable perception, precision and neuromodulation. Cerebral Cortex , Article bhad401. 10.1093/cercor/bhad401. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Bistable perception follows from observing a static, ambiguous, (visual) stimulus with two possible interpretations. Here, we present an active (Bayesian) inference account of bistable perception and posit that perceptual transitions between different interpretations (i.e. inferences) of the same stimulus ensue from specific eye movements that shift the focus to a different visual feature. Formally, these inferences are a consequence of precision control that determines how confident beliefs are and change the frequency with which one can perceive—and alternate between—two distinct percepts. We hypothesized that there are multiple, but distinct, ways in which precision modulation can interact to give rise to a similar frequency of bistable perception. We validated this using numerical simulations of the Necker cube paradigm and demonstrate the multiple routes that underwrite the frequency of perceptual alternation. Our results provide an (enactive) computational account of the intricate precision balance underwriting bistable perception. Importantly, these precision parameters can be considered the computational homologs of particular neurotransmitters—i.e. acetylcholine, noradrenaline, dopamine—that have been previously implicated in controlling bistable perception, providing a computational link between the neurochemistry and perception.

Type: Article
Title: Bistable perception, precision and neuromodulation
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhad401
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhad401
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permission@oup.com. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com.
Keywords: Active inference, bistable perception, neuromodulators, precision
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10182385
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