Influence of emotional facial expressions on binocular rivalry

Rachel L. Bannerman, Maarten Milders, Beatrice de Gelder, Arash Sahraie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Three experiments investigated whether emotional information influences perceptual dominance during binocular rivalry. In Experiment 1, rival emotional and neutral faces in the background were coupled with grating stimuli in the foreground. Results showed that gratings paired with emotional faces dominated over those paired with neutral faces. In Experiment 2, emotional and neutral faces were presented dichoptically, without being paired with other stimuli. Dominance of emotional faces was observed. Fusion and low-level image differences were ruled out by examining dominance periods of upright and inverted emotional and neutral faces presented as face-house pairs (Experiment 3). Here, face stimuli dominated over house stimuli only for upright face conditions. In addition, upright emotional faces were perceived for significantly longer durations than upright neutral faces. The results provide further support for the influence of emotional meaning on binocular rivalry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-326
Number of pages10
JournalOphthalmic and Physiological Optics
Issue number4
Early online date28 Jun 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • binocular rivalry
  • emotions
  • facial expressions
  • visual awareness
  • perceptual bi-stability
  • voluntary control
  • faces
  • attention
  • awareness
  • dynamics
  • threat
  • fear
  • recognition
  • orientation


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of emotional facial expressions on binocular rivalry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this