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Components of bottom-up gaze allocation in natural images

Peters, Robert J. and Iyer, Asha and Itti, Laurent and Koch, Christof (2005) Components of bottom-up gaze allocation in natural images. Vision Research, 45 (18). pp. 2397-2416. ISSN 0042-6989.

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Recent research [Parkhurst, D., Law, K., & Niebur, E., 2002. Modeling the role of salience in the allocation of overt visual attention. Vision Research 42 (1) (2002) 107–123] showed that a model of bottom-up visual attention can account in part for the spatial locations fixated by humans while free-viewing complex natural and artificial scenes. That study used a definition of salience based on local detectors with coarse global surround inhibition. Here, we use a similar framework to investigate the roles of several types of non-linear interactions known to exist in visual cortex, and of eccentricity-dependent processing. For each of these, we added a component to the salience model, including richer interactions among orientation-tuned units, both at spatial short range (for clutter reduction) and long range (for contour facilitation), and a detailed model of eccentricity-dependent changes in visual processing. Subjects free-viewed naturalistic and artificial images while their eye movements were recorded, and the resulting fixation locations were compared with the models’ predicted salience maps. We found that the proposed interactions indeed play a significant role in the spatiotemporal deployment of attention in natural scenes; about half of the observed inter-subject variance can be explained by these different models. This suggests that attentional guidance does not depend solely on local visual features, but must also include the effects of interactions among features. As models of these interactions become more accurate in predicting behaviorally-relevant salient locations, they become useful to a range of applications in computer vision and human-machine interface design.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Peters, Robert J.0000-0003-4691-8477
Koch, Christof0000-0001-6482-8067
Additional Information:c2005 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Received 4 September 2004; received in revised form 15 March 2005. This work was supported by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA, formerly known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, NIMA), the Sandia National Laboratories, the Engineering Research Centers (ERC) Program of the National Science Foundation under Award Number EEC-9402726, the Keck Foundation, and by a Predoctoral Fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to R.J. Peters. The authors affirm that the views expressed herein are solely their own, and do not represent the views of the United States government or any agency thereof. The authors would like to thank Nathan Mundhenk for a reference implementation of the contour-facilitation model.
Group:Koch Laboratory (KLAB)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Geospatial-Intelligence AgencyUNSPECIFIED
Sandia National LaboratoriesUNSPECIFIED
Engineering Research Centers Programs of the NSFEEC-9402726
Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Pre-Doctoral FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Salience; Attention; Eye movements; Contours
Issue or Number:18
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103220430
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Robert J. Peters, Asha Iyer, Laurent Itti, Christof Koch, Components of bottom-up gaze allocation in natural images, Vision Research, Volume 45, Issue 18, August 2005, Pages 2397-2416, ISSN 0042-6989, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40491
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:12 Jan 2008 00:50
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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