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Spatial Attention Is Attracted in a Sustained Fashion toward Singular Points in the Optic Flow

Wang, Shuo and Fukuchi, Masaki and Koch, Christof and Tsuchiya, Naotsugu (2012) Spatial Attention Is Attracted in a Sustained Fashion toward Singular Points in the Optic Flow. PLoS ONE, 7 (8). Art. No. e41040. ISSN 1932-6203. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120914-105648313

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[img] Video (MPEG) (Movie S7 Demonstration of the stimulus of Experiment 1. Condition 7: [motion = on, TSG= on, SSG = off].) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Video (QuickTime) (Movie S9 Demonstration of the stimulus of Experiment 2: the stationary condition.) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Video (QuickTime) (Movie S10 Demonstration of the stimulus of Experiment 2: the condition where the FOE is far away from the change.) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Video (QuickTime) (Movie S11 Demonstration of the stimulus of Experiment 2: the condition where the FOE is close to the change.) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Video (QuickTime) (Movie S12 Demonstration of the stimulus of Experiment 2: the condition where the FOC is far away from the change.) - Supplemental Material
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Abstract

While a single approaching object is known to attract spatial attention, it is unknown how attention is directed when the background looms towards the observer as s/he moves forward in a quasi-stationary environment. In Experiment 1, we used a cued speeded discrimination task to quantify where and how spatial attention is directed towards the target superimposed onto a cloud of moving dots. We found that when the motion was expansive, attention was attracted towards the singular point of the optic flow (the focus of expansion, FOE) in a sustained fashion. The effects were less pronounced when the motion was contractive. The more ecologically valid the motion features became (e.g., temporal expansion of each dot, spatial depth structure implied by distribution of the size of the dots), the stronger the attentional effects. Further, the attentional effects were sustained over 1000 ms. Experiment 2 quantified these attentional effects using a change detection paradigm by zooming into or out of photographs of natural scenes. Spatial attention was attracted in a sustained manner such that change detection was facilitated or delayed depending on the location of the FOE only when the motion was expansive. Our results suggest that focal attention is strongly attracted towards singular points that signal the direction of forward ego-motion.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0041040DOIArticle
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0041040PublisherArticle
Additional Information:© 2012 Wang et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Received: April 8, 2011; Accepted: June 21, 2012; Published: August 8, 2012. Funding: NT was funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and PRESTO award from Japan Science and Technology Agency. The research reported here is supported by the Office of Naval Research (via an award made through Johns Hopkins University), by the NeoVision program at DARPA and by the WCU program of the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (R31-10008). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing Interests: The authors have read the journal’s policy and have the following conflicts: MF is an employee of the Sony Corporation. There are no patents, products in development or marketed products to declare. This does not alter the authors’ adherence to all the PLoS ONE policies on sharing data and materials, as detailed online in the guide for authors. We thank Claudia Wilimzig for offering us the stimuli for Experiment 2, Shima Hajimirza for collecting the data for Experiment 2 and Elnaz Nouri for performing the preliminary version of Experiment 1. Author Contributions: Conceived and designed the experiments: SW MF CK NT. Performed the experiments: SW MF NT. Analyzed the data: SW MF NT. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: SW MF NT. Wrote the paper: SW MF CK NT. Initiated the project and conducted several pilot experiments: MF CK.
Group:Koch Laboratory, KLAB
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Japan Society for the Promotion of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO)UNSPECIFIED
Office of Naval ResearchUNSPECIFIED
DARPAUNSPECIFIED
National Research Foundation of Korea, Ministry of Education, Science and TechnologyR31-10008
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120914-105648313
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120914-105648313
Official Citation:Wang S, Fukuchi M, Koch C, Tsuchiya N (2012) Spatial Attention Is Attracted in a Sustained Fashion toward Singular Points in the Optic Flow. PLoS ONE 7(8): e41040. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041040
Usage Policy:This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
ID Code:34094
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:14 Sep 2012 20:05
Last Modified:13 Sep 2013 22:05

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