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Modeling the Modulatory Effect of Attention on Human Spatial Vision

Itti, Laurent and Braun, Jochen and Koch, Christof (2002) Modeling the Modulatory Effect of Attention on Human Spatial Vision. In: Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 14. Vol.2. MIT Press , Cambridge, MA, pp. 1247-1254. ISBN 0262042088.

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We present new simulation results, in which a computational model of interacting visual neurons simultaneously predicts the modulation of spatial vision thresholds by focal visual attention, for five dual-task human psychophysics experiments. This new study complements our previous findings that attention activates a winner-take-all competition among early visual neurons within one cortical hypercolumn. This "intensified competition" hypothesis assumed that attention equally affects all neurons, and yielded two single-unit predictions: an increase in gain and a sharpening of tuning with attention. While both effects have been separately observed in electrophysiology, no single-unit study has yet shown them simultaneously. Hence, we here explore whether our model could still predict our data if attention might only modulate neuronal gain, but do so non-uniformly across neurons and tasks. Specifically, we investigate whether modulating the gain of only the neurons that are loudest, best-tuned, or most informative about the stimulus, or of all neurons equally but in a task-dependent manner, may account for the data. We find that none of these hypotheses yields predictions as plausible as the intensified competition hypothesis, hence providing additional support for our original findings.

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Additional Information:©2002 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This research was supported by the National Eye Institute, the National Science Foundation, the NSF-supported ERC center at Caltech, the National Institutes for Mental Health, and startup funds from the Charles Lee Powell Foundation and the USC School of Engineering.
Group:Koch Laboratory, KLAB
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National Eye InstituteUNSPECIFIED
National Institutes for Mental HealthUNSPECIFIED
Charles Lee Powell FoundationUNSPECIFIED
USC School of EngineeringUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141114-154121923
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:51808
Deposited By: Kristin Buxton
Deposited On:15 Nov 2014 00:43
Last Modified:15 Nov 2014 00:43

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