Stimulus competition mediates the joint effects of spatial and feature-based attention

Alex L. White, Martin Rolfs, Marisa Carrasco-Queijeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Distinct attentional mechanisms enhance the sensory processing of visual stimuli that appear at task-relevant locations and have task-relevant features. We used a combination of psychophysics and computational modeling to investigate how these two types of attention-spatial and feature based-interact to modulate sensitivity when combined in one task. Observers monitored overlapping groups of dots for a target change in color saturation, which they had to localize as being in the upper or lower visual hemifield. Pre-cues indicated the target's most likely location (left/ right), color (red/green), or both location and color. We measured sensitivity (d0) for every combination of the location cue and the color cue, each of which could be valid, neutral, or invalid. When three competing saturation changes occurred simultaneously with the target change, there was a clear interaction: The spatial cueing effect was strongest for the cued color, and the color cueing effect was strongest at the cued location. In a second experiment, only the target dot group changed saturation, such that stimulus competition was low. The resulting cueing effects were statistically independent and additive: The color cueing effect was equally strong at attended and unattended locations. We account for these data with a computational model in which spatial and feature-based attention independently modulate the gain of sensory responses, consistent with measurements of cortical activity. Multiple responses then compete via divisive normalization. Sufficient competition creates interactions between the two cueing effects, although the attentional systems are themselves independent. This model helps reconcile seemingly disparate behavioral and physiological findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7
JournalJournal of Vision
Volume15
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Color
Cues
Psychophysics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Stimulus competition mediates the joint effects of spatial and feature-based attention. / White, Alex L.; Rolfs, Martin; Carrasco-Queijeiro, Marisa.

In: Journal of Vision, Vol. 15, No. 14, 7, 2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

White, Alex L. ; Rolfs, Martin ; Carrasco-Queijeiro, Marisa. / Stimulus competition mediates the joint effects of spatial and feature-based attention. In: Journal of Vision. 2015 ; Vol. 15, No. 14.
@article{026021f02ad5453a8752e206092818b3,
title = "Stimulus competition mediates the joint effects of spatial and feature-based attention",
abstract = "Distinct attentional mechanisms enhance the sensory processing of visual stimuli that appear at task-relevant locations and have task-relevant features. We used a combination of psychophysics and computational modeling to investigate how these two types of attention-spatial and feature based-interact to modulate sensitivity when combined in one task. Observers monitored overlapping groups of dots for a target change in color saturation, which they had to localize as being in the upper or lower visual hemifield. Pre-cues indicated the target's most likely location (left/ right), color (red/green), or both location and color. We measured sensitivity (d0) for every combination of the location cue and the color cue, each of which could be valid, neutral, or invalid. When three competing saturation changes occurred simultaneously with the target change, there was a clear interaction: The spatial cueing effect was strongest for the cued color, and the color cueing effect was strongest at the cued location. In a second experiment, only the target dot group changed saturation, such that stimulus competition was low. The resulting cueing effects were statistically independent and additive: The color cueing effect was equally strong at attended and unattended locations. We account for these data with a computational model in which spatial and feature-based attention independently modulate the gain of sensory responses, consistent with measurements of cortical activity. Multiple responses then compete via divisive normalization. Sufficient competition creates interactions between the two cueing effects, although the attentional systems are themselves independent. This model helps reconcile seemingly disparate behavioral and physiological findings.",
author = "White, {Alex L.} and Martin Rolfs and Marisa Carrasco-Queijeiro",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1167/15.14.7",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "15",
journal = "Journal of Vision",
issn = "1534-7362",
publisher = "Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Inc.",
number = "14",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Stimulus competition mediates the joint effects of spatial and feature-based attention

AU - White, Alex L.

AU - Rolfs, Martin

AU - Carrasco-Queijeiro, Marisa

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Distinct attentional mechanisms enhance the sensory processing of visual stimuli that appear at task-relevant locations and have task-relevant features. We used a combination of psychophysics and computational modeling to investigate how these two types of attention-spatial and feature based-interact to modulate sensitivity when combined in one task. Observers monitored overlapping groups of dots for a target change in color saturation, which they had to localize as being in the upper or lower visual hemifield. Pre-cues indicated the target's most likely location (left/ right), color (red/green), or both location and color. We measured sensitivity (d0) for every combination of the location cue and the color cue, each of which could be valid, neutral, or invalid. When three competing saturation changes occurred simultaneously with the target change, there was a clear interaction: The spatial cueing effect was strongest for the cued color, and the color cueing effect was strongest at the cued location. In a second experiment, only the target dot group changed saturation, such that stimulus competition was low. The resulting cueing effects were statistically independent and additive: The color cueing effect was equally strong at attended and unattended locations. We account for these data with a computational model in which spatial and feature-based attention independently modulate the gain of sensory responses, consistent with measurements of cortical activity. Multiple responses then compete via divisive normalization. Sufficient competition creates interactions between the two cueing effects, although the attentional systems are themselves independent. This model helps reconcile seemingly disparate behavioral and physiological findings.

AB - Distinct attentional mechanisms enhance the sensory processing of visual stimuli that appear at task-relevant locations and have task-relevant features. We used a combination of psychophysics and computational modeling to investigate how these two types of attention-spatial and feature based-interact to modulate sensitivity when combined in one task. Observers monitored overlapping groups of dots for a target change in color saturation, which they had to localize as being in the upper or lower visual hemifield. Pre-cues indicated the target's most likely location (left/ right), color (red/green), or both location and color. We measured sensitivity (d0) for every combination of the location cue and the color cue, each of which could be valid, neutral, or invalid. When three competing saturation changes occurred simultaneously with the target change, there was a clear interaction: The spatial cueing effect was strongest for the cued color, and the color cueing effect was strongest at the cued location. In a second experiment, only the target dot group changed saturation, such that stimulus competition was low. The resulting cueing effects were statistically independent and additive: The color cueing effect was equally strong at attended and unattended locations. We account for these data with a computational model in which spatial and feature-based attention independently modulate the gain of sensory responses, consistent with measurements of cortical activity. Multiple responses then compete via divisive normalization. Sufficient competition creates interactions between the two cueing effects, although the attentional systems are themselves independent. This model helps reconcile seemingly disparate behavioral and physiological findings.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84947903376&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84947903376&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1167/15.14.7

DO - 10.1167/15.14.7

M3 - Article

VL - 15

JO - Journal of Vision

JF - Journal of Vision

SN - 1534-7362

IS - 14

M1 - 7

ER -