Seeing with two eyes usually helps one respond faster. Here we show that with ambiguous stimuli, binocular viewing can paradoxically slow down reaction time. This is explained by the observers basing their decision on a noisy neuronal representation within the visual system, with the added noise breaking the symmetry between the two possible interpretations. Binocular integration improves the representation by reducing the noise, increasing ambiguity, and decision time. The neuronal Accumulator (Race) model is applied to quantify the underlying binocular integration. The model accounts for the distributions of reaction times, and predicts suboptimal integration between eyes. We conclude that under ambiguous stimulation neuronal noise within the visual system determines responses.
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