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A dynamic model of how feature cues guide spatial attention

Hamker, Fred H. (2004) A dynamic model of how feature cues guide spatial attention. Vision Research, 44 (5). pp. 501-521. ISSN 0042-6989.

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We will describe a computational model of attention which explains the guidance of spatial attention by feedback within a distributed network. We hypothesize that feedback within the ventral pathway transfers the target template from prefrontal areas into intermediate areas like V4. The oculomotor circuit consisting of FEF, LIP and superior colliculus picks up this distributed activity and provides a continuous spatial reentry signal from premotor cells. In order to test this hypothesis, we simulate two experiments that require a response given a color cue. The first experiment indicates a parallel feature-based enhancement prior to any spatial selection. If two targets are behaviorally relevant, as in the second experiment, experimental findings indicate that subjects split their attention between two locations containing the searched feature. Our simulation results suggest that the split in attention between two foci is a transient effect occurring during competition. We predict that the time after cue presentation determines the state of this competition and ultimately the distribution of attention at different locations. In addition we provide simulation results to explain how reentrant processing through the oculomotor circuit might lead to variations of the time for target detection in visual search.

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Additional Information:c2003 Elsevier Ltd. Received 23 September 2002; received in revised form 23 September 2003. I thank Shinsuke Shimojo, Patricia Neil, Rufin VanRullen, Fei Fei Li and Michael Proulx for helpful comments on this manuscript. I am grateful to Brad Motter for providing the data showing the attention effects on V4 cells. This research was supported by DFG HA2630/2-1 and in part by the ERC Program of the NSF (ERC-9402726).
Group:Koch Laboratory (KLAB)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftHA2630/2-1
NSF-sponsored Engineering Research Center at CaltechERC-9402726
Subject Keywords:Attention; Computational model; Top–down processing; Ventral pathway; Oculomotor circuits
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103259243
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Official Citation:Fred H. Hamker, A dynamic model of how feature cues guide spatial attention, Vision Research, Volume 44, Issue 5, March 2004, Pages 501-521, ISSN 0042-6989, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40601
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:16 Jan 2008 02:28
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 05:14

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