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date: 19 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Across many types of tasks, our ability to process multiple objects or locations at once is limited by a finite processing resource. This chapter describes 15 classic examples of such resources limits. The chapter then reviews evidence suggesting that this resource primarily reflects competition for representation, across two types of representation. First, limits on the identification of objects may reflect competition within networks that represent object identity (the ventral visual stream). Second, limits on the selection of multiple locations may reflect competition between selected locations within representations of visual space (the dorsal visual stream). This definition of visual resources provides a parsimonious explanation for many effects in the visual cognition literature, and it makes concrete predictions about manipulations that should affect performance across a wide variety of visual tasks.

Keywords: visual attention, selection, resources, competition, crowding, surround inhibition, object tracking, visual search, subitizing

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