Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Neurosci. 2013 Jun;16(6):763-70. doi: 10.1038/nn.3381. Epub 2013 Apr 21.

Attention during natural vision warps semantic representation across the human brain.

Author information

1
Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA.

Abstract

Little is known about how attention changes the cortical representation of sensory information in humans. On the basis of neurophysiological evidence, we hypothesized that attention causes tuning changes to expand the representation of attended stimuli at the cost of unattended stimuli. To investigate this issue, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure how semantic representation changed during visual search for different object categories in natural movies. We found that many voxels across occipito-temporal and fronto-parietal cortex shifted their tuning toward the attended category. These tuning shifts expanded the representation of the attended category and of semantically related, but unattended, categories, and compressed the representation of categories that were semantically dissimilar to the target. Attentional warping of semantic representation occurred even when the attended category was not present in the movie; thus, the effect was not a target-detection artifact. These results suggest that attention dynamically alters visual representation to optimize processing of behaviorally relevant objects during natural vision.

PMID:
23603707
PMCID:
PMC3929490
DOI:
10.1038/nn.3381
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center