We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitor stimulus-selective responses of the human fusiform face area (FFA) and parahippocampal place area (PPA) during binocular rivalry in which a face and a house stimulus were presented to different eyes. Though retinal stimulation remained constant, subjects perceived changes from house to face that were accompanied by increasing FFA and decreasing PPA activity; perceived changes from face to house led to the opposite pattern of responses. These responses during rivalry were equal in magnitude to those evoked by nonrivalrous stimulus alternation, suggesting that activity in the FFA and PPA reflects the perceived rather than the retinal stimulus, and that neural competition during binocular rivalry has been resolved by these stages of visual processing.
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We would like to thank members of the MGH–NMR Center for technical assistance and Patrick Cavanagh, Janine Mendola, Bruce Rosen, John Rubin, Adriane Seiffert, Paul Downing, and Zoe Kourtzi for comments on this manuscript. This study was supported by an NSERC postgraduate scholarship to F. T.; grants from NIMH, the Human Frontiers Science Program, and the Dana Foundation to N. K.; and an AFOSR grant to K. N.