Reversing how to think about ambiguous figure reversals: spontaneous alternating by uninformed observers.
Ambiguous figures are a special class of images that can give rise to multiple interpretations. Traditionally, switching between the possible interpretations of an ambiguous figure, or reversing one's interpretation, has been attributed either to top-down or to bottom-up processes (e.g. attributed to having knowledge of the nature of the ambiguity, or to a form of neuronal fatigue). Here we present evidence that is incompatible with both forms of explanations. Observers aged 5-9 years can reverse ambiguous figures when uninformed about the ambiguity, negating purely top-down explanations. Further, those children who make these 'spontaneous' reversals are more likely to succeed on a high-order theory-of-mind task, negating purely bottom-up explanations.
Mitroff, SR; Sobel, DM; Gopnik, A
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