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Neuron. 2001 May;30(2):583-91.

Search efficiency but not response interference affects visual selection in frontal eye field.

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Vanderbilt Vision Research Center, Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, 111 21st Avenue South, 301 Wilson Hall, Nashville, TN 37240, USA.


Two manipulations of a visual search task were used to test the hypothesis that the discrimination of a target from distractors by visually responsive neurons in the frontal eye field (FEF) marks the outcome and conclusion of visual processing instead of saccade preparation. First, search efficiency was reduced by increasing the similarity of the distractors to the target. Second, response interference was introduced by infrequently changing the location of the target in the array. Both manipulations increased reaction time, but only the change in search efficiency affected the time needed to select the target by visually responsive neurons. This result indicates that visually responsive neurons in FEF form an explicit representation of the location of the target in the image.

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