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J Vis. 2006 Aug 10;6(9):898-914.

The role of memory in guiding attention during natural vision.

Author information

  • 1Neuroscience Program, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. rancarmi@gmail.com

Abstract

What is the time frame in which perceptual memory guides attention? Current estimates range from a few hundred milliseconds to several seconds, minutes, or even days. Here, we answer this question by establishing the time course of attentional selection in realistic viewing conditions. First, we transformed continuous video clips into MTV-style video clips by stringing together continuous clip segments using abrupt transitions (jump cuts). We then asked participants to visually explore either continuous or MTV-style clips and recorded their saccades as objective behavioral indicators of attentional selections. The utilization of perceptual memory was estimated across viewing conditions and over time by quantifying the agreement between human attentional selections and predictions made by a neurally grounded computational model. In the critical condition, jump cuts led to sharp declines in the impact of perceptual memory on attentional selection, followed by monotonic increases in memory utilization across seven consecutive saccades and 2.5 s. These results demonstrate that perceptual memory traces play an important role in guiding attention across several saccades during natural vision. We propose novel hypotheses and experiments using hybrid natural-artificial stimuli to further elucidate neurocomputational mechanisms of attentional selection.

PMID:
17083283
DOI:
10.1167/6.9.4
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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