July 1995
Volume 36, Issue 8
Articles  |   July 1995
Ingested ethanol and binocular rivalry.
Author Affiliations
  • M Donnelly
    Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-4820, USA.
  • R J Miller
    Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-4820, USA.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 1995, Vol.36, 1548-1554. doi:
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      M Donnelly, R J Miller; Ingested ethanol and binocular rivalry.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1995;36(8):1548-1554.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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PURPOSE: An early study claimed that ethanol ingestion can attenuate binocular rivalry and, in some cases, may produce the phenomenal fusion of normally rivalrous stimuli. The current study examined those claims in an experiment incorporating key controls that were lacking in the earlier study. METHODS: There were two conditions, one in which observers consumed ethanol and the other in which they consumed a placebo. Observers reported the course of binocular rivalry for several hours after drink consumption using two types of rivalry stimuli, one consisting of a continuously illuminated set of stimuli, the other consisting of dichoptic afterimages. RESULTS: Ingestion of ethanol resulted in a decrease in rivalry alternation rates, although there was no evidence of phenomenal fusion. Results were essentially identical for both stimulus types. CONCLUSION: It is suggested that this effect is not caused by ethanol-induced changes in oculomotor mechanisms but may be caused by ethanol-induced decreases in contrast sensitivity.


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