DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Computational Modeling of Interocular Suppression Over Time


Stephanie M. Shields and Dr. David F. Nichols



  • Honors in Psychology project.
  • Funded by a Pathways Grant from Roanoke College ($500 for research-related expenses, $400 stipend for faculty mentor).
  • Modeling attempted to replicate psychophysical data that had already been collected and was based on the computational model of Nichols and Wilson (2009).
  • Poster presented at the Vision Sciences Society 2017 Annual Meeting.
  • Two manuscripts on results in preparation.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
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DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Thesis successfully defended on 28 April 2017.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Honors in Psychology Application Abstract:

Typically visual input from humans’ two eyes is combined to form one three-dimensional percept, but when conflicting images are presented to the two eyes (e.g. an image of vertical bars is displayed in front of the left eye and an image of horizontal bars is displayed in front of the right eye), interocular suppression may result instead. This phenomenon occurs when neurons in the visual system that respond to input from one eye are inhibited by neurons that respond to input from the other eye. The brain therefore resolves the conflict by establishing a neural representation of a single coherent percept based on the input from just a single eye. Under the right circumstances, perception will alternate between each of the two images over time as the eye being suppressed switches. Experimental data has previously been collected on the time course of interocular suppression over different time scales. The current project will be to build and utilize a computational model in an attempt to show that the seemingly disparate results that occur for the different time scales used can be accounted for by a single theoretical interocular suppression mechanism. A model will be adapted from the one published in Nichols & Wilson (2009) to the protocol used for experimental data collection, and then computational data will be collected and analyzed.



Information on Roanoke College's Pathways Program:

  • Aims to enhance experiential learning at Roanoke College
  • Consists of three primary stages: pre-experience preparation and planning, ongoing guided reflection, and post-experience showcasing
  • Pathways Program - More general information about the program and its purpose
  • Pathways Support - Page geared towards those looking for Pathways funding
  • Undergraduate Research - Information about receiving Pathways support for undergraduate research specifically
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.