Normalization regulates competition for visual awareness

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.


Signals in our brain are in a constant state of competition, including those that vie for motor control, sensory dominance, and awareness. To shed light on the mechanisms underlying neural competition, we exploit binocular rivalry, a phenomenon that allows us to probe the competitive process that ordinarily transpires outside of our awareness. By measuring psychometric functions under different states of rivalry, we discovered a pattern of gain changes that are consistent with a model of competition in which attention interacts with normalization processes, thereby driving the ebb and flow between states of awareness. Moreover, we reveal that attention plays a crucial role in modulating competition; without attention, rivalry suppression for high-contrast stimuli is negligible. We propose a framework whereby our visual awareness of competing sensory representations is governed by a common neural computation: normalization.




Ling, S., & Blake, R. (2012). Normalization regulates competition for visual awareness. Neuron, 75(3), 531–540.

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free