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Vision Res. 2003 Mar;43(6):629-37.

Global feature-based attention for motion and color.

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The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Systems Neurobiology Laboratory--B, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


We used a divided attention psychophysical task to test the hypothesis that visual attention to a stimulus feature(1) facilitates the processing of other stimuli sharing the same feature. Performance on a dual-task was significantly better when human observers divided attention across two spatially separate stimuli sharing a common feature (same direction of motion or same color) compared to opposing features. This attentional effect was dependent upon the presence of competing stimuli. These results are consistent with a spatially global feature-based mechanism of attention that increases the response of cortical neurons tuned to an attended feature throughout the visual field.

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