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Spatial vision thresholds in the near absence of attention

Lee, Dale K. and Koch, Christof and Braun, Jochen (1997) Spatial vision thresholds in the near absence of attention. Vision Research, 37 (17). pp. 2409-18. ISSN 0042-6989.

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It is well known that attention increases the discriminability of some types of spatial information. To ascertain more specifically which types of spatial information benefit from attention, we have measured spatial vision thresholds both in the presence and in the near absence of attention. To obtain near absence of attention, we induce subjects to focus attention elsewhere in the display by means of a suitably demanding concurrent visual task. We measure contrast and orientation thresholds for sine-wave gratings, as well uni- and bidirectional offset thresholds for vernier targets. The results suggest that attention selectively lowers some thresholds but not others: orientation thresholds are far more affected than contrast thresholds, and bidirectional vernier thresholds are far more affected than unidirectional thresholds.

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Additional Information:Received 9 July 1996; in revised form 23 December 1996. © 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd. We wish to thank Professor Manfred Fable and Chiang-shan Li for comments and especially Professor Terrence Sejnowski for his generous help. This research was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering of the National Science Foundation, and by the Office of Naval Research.
Group:Koch Laboratory, KLAB
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Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering (CNSE)UNSPECIFIED
U.S. Office of Naval Research UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Visual filters; Gain; Tuning; Concurrent tasks
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103213041
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Official Citation:Dale K. Lee, Christof Koch, Jochen Braun, Spatial vision thresholds in the near absence of attention, Vision Research, Volume 37, Issue 17, September 1997, Pages 2409-2418, ISSN 0042-6989, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40465
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:11 Mar 2010 05:57
Last Modified:18 Sep 2013 16:13

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