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Vision Res. 2003 Jan;43(2):205-19.

The selective tuning model of attention: psychophysical evidence for a suppressive annulus around an attended item.

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Department of Computer Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.


The selective tuning model [Artif. Intell. 78 (1995) 507] is a neurobiologically plausible neural network model of visual attention. One of its key predictions is that to simultaneously solve the problems of convergence of neural input and selection of attended items, the portions of the visual neural network that process an attended stimulus must be surrounded by inhibition. To test this hypothesis, we mapped the attentional field around an attended location in a matching task where the subject's attention was directed to a cued target while the distance of a probe item to the target was varied systematically. The main result was that accuracy increased with inter-target separation. The observed pattern of variation of accuracy with distance provided strong evidence in favor of the critical prediction of the model that attention is actively inhibited in the immediate vicinity of an attended location.

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