J Neurophysiol. 2011 Jul 20. [Epub ahead of print] The role of mutual inhibition in binocular rivalry. Seely J, Chow CC. Binocular rivalry is a phenomenon that occurs when ambiguous images are presented to each of the eyes. The observer generally perceives just one image at a time, with perceptual switches occurring every few seconds. A natural assumption is that this perceptual mutual exclusivity is achieved via mutual inhibition between populations of neurons that encode for either percept. Theoretical models that incorporate mutual inhibition have been largely successful at capturing experimental features of rivalry, including Levelt's propositions, which characterize perceptual dominance durations as a function of image contrasts. However, basic mutual inhibition models do not fully comply with Levelt's fourth proposition, which states that percepts alternate faster as the stimulus contrasts to both eyes are increased simultaneously. This theory-experiment discrepancy has been taken as evidence against the role of mutual inhibition for binocular rivalry. Here, we show how various biophysically plausible modifications to mutual inhibition models can resolve this problem. PMID: 21775721 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] Paper can be downloaded here.