Ambiguity in Perception, Action and Decision-Making

30 October 2012
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Ambiguity is ubiquitous in human cognition and behavior. In my talk I will use perceptual and binocular rivalry as model to link the domains of action, perception and decision-making in the context of ambiguity. First, I will demonstrate that action directly biases perceptual representations even if the stimulus itself remains unchanged, making a case for a common code between perception and action. Second, I will address the commonalities between decision-making under uncertainty and the resolution of perceptual ambiguity. In this view, the unique perceptual impression of our world is the result of an automatic selection between competing alternatives. Third, I will present a model based on winner-take-all circuits that replicates several key hallmarks of rivalry and offers a potential link to attention models, again stressing the notion of competition as common principle. Finally, I will show that perceptual benefits of objecthood (i.e., benefits of object-based attention), arise when features are bound into a coherent percept, even if the features themselves remain unchanged. In sum, my talk will provide links among perception, action and decision-making under ambiguity and provide possible links between ambiguity and attention.