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Differences of monkey and human overt attention under natural conditions

Einhäuser, Wolfgang and Kruse, Wolfgang and Hoffmann, Klaus-Peter and König, Peter (2006) Differences of monkey and human overt attention under natural conditions. Vision Research, 46 (8-9). pp. 1194-1209. ISSN 0042-6989. doi:10.1016/j.visres.2005.08.032.

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Rhesus monkeys are widely used as animal models of human attention. Such research rests upon the assumption that similar mechanisms underlie attention in both species. Here, we directly compare the influence of low-level stimulus features on overt attention in monkeys and humans under natural conditions. We recorded eye-movements in humans and rhesus monkeys during free-viewing of natural images. We find that intrinsic low-level features, such luminance-contrast, texture-contrast and saliency—as predicted by a standard model, are elevated at fixation points in the majority of images. These correlative effects are not significantly different between species. However, local image modifications affect both species differently: moderate modifications, which are in the range of natural fluctuations, attract overt attention in monkeys significantly stronger than they do in humans. In addition, humans show a higher inter-individual consistency regarding which locations they fixate than monkeys, in spite of the similarity for intrinsic low-level features. Taken together, these data demonstrate that—under natural conditions—low-level stimulus features affect attention in monkeys and humans differently.

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Additional Information:Received 3 February 2005; received in revised form 11 May 2005. �c2005 Elsevier Ltd. We thank Honda RI Europe (W.E.), Volkswagen Foundation, (W.K., and K.P.H., grant ‘‘Plasticity of Spatial Cognition’’), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (KPH, SFB 509 ‘‘Neurovision,’’ TP B2) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (W.E., project-no: PBEZ2–107367; PK, Grant No. 31-61415.01) for their financial support. We are grateful to D. Walther for supplying a stand-alone matlab-implementation of the saliency-map model and to A. Horstmann and Dr.W. Lindner for their technical assistance in carrying out the experiments.
Group:Koch Laboratory (KLAB)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Volkswagen FoundationPlasticity of Spatial Cognition
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftSFB 509
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftNeuroscience
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftTP B2
Swiss National Science FoundationBEZ2–107367
Swiss National Science Foundation31-61415.01
Subject Keywords:Saliency-map; Natural visual stimuli; Attention; Eye-movements; Luminance-contrast
Issue or Number:8-9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103140201
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40364
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:12 Jan 2008 01:03
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:48

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