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Prog Brain Res. 2006;154:33-70.

Covert attention increases contrast sensitivity: Psychophysical, neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies.

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Department of Psychology & Center for Neural Science, New York University, 6 Washington Pl. 8th floor, New York, NY 10003, USA.


This chapter focuses on the effect of covert spatial attention on contrast sensitivity, a basic visual dimension where the best mechanistic understanding of attention has been achieved. I discuss how models of contrast sensitivity, as well as the confluence of psychophysical, single-unit recording, and neuroimaging studies, suggest that attention increases contrast sensitivity via contrast gain, an effect akin to a change in the physical contrast stimulus. I suggest possible research directions and ways to strengthen the interaction among different levels of analysis to further our understanding of visual attention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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