Attentional Processing in Bistable Perception is Influenced by Genetic Effects Associated with Sinistrality


Binocular rivalry displays and ambiguous figures such as the Necker cube elicit a perceptual reversal effect mediated by attentional and perceptual processes. Perceptual dominance times are highly variable between individuals and may be partially influenced by genetic factors. This study examined the role of putative genetic effects associated with familial sinistrality, derived from a novel pedigree-based genetic model. In a continuous Necker viewing task, dominance times were significantly correlated (R-square = .36) with a multifactorial estimate of genetic effects associated with non right-handedness. No association with genetic estimates was found in an intermittent viewing condition. These results suggest that genetic factors associated with functional asymmetries may also affect noise-based perceptual alternation, but not short term visual memory.

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