Cognitive Time Scales in a Necker-Zeno Model for Bistable Perception

1 – Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health, Wilhelmstr. 3a, 79098 Freiburg, Germany 2 – Parmenides Center, Via Mellini 26-28, 57031 Capoliveri, Italy 3 – Department of Ophtalmology, University of Freiburg, Killianstr. 5, 79106 Freiburg, Germany 4 – Institute of Physics, University of Freiburg, Hermann-Herder-Str. 3, 79104 Freiburg, Germany Abstract The “Necker-Zeno model”, a model for bistable perception inspired by the quantum Zeno effect, was previously used to relate three basic time scales of cognitive relevance to one another in a quantitative manner. In this paper, the model predictions are compared with experimental results obtained under discontinuous presentation of an ambiguous stimulus. In addition to earlier results for long inter-stimulus intervals, we show that the reversal dynamics according to the Necker-Zeno model is also in agreement with new results for short inter-stimulus intervals. Moreover, we refine the model in such a way that it accounts for the distribution of “dwell times” (inverse reversal rates). Finally, we indicate applications concerning the modification of cognitive time scales under conditions of psychopathological impairments and meditationinduced modes of awareness. ∗Address correspondence to this author at the Theory Division of the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology, Wilhelmstr. 3a, D–79098 Freiburg, Germany; E-mail:
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