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date: 18 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The allocation of selective visual attention to a particular region of visual space has been attention’s most-studied variant. But attention can also be allocated to features, such as a particular colour or direction of motion. Studies from the visual cortex of rhesus monkeys have revealed a gain modulation across visual space that enhances the response of neurons that show a preference for the attended feature and a reduced responsiveness of those neurons tuned to the opposite feature. Such studies have also provided evidence for object-based attention, where the attentional enhancement of a neural representation affects the complex amalgamation of features that make up an object. All these forms of visual attention together create an integrated saliency map or priority map, that is, an integrated representation of relative stimulus strength and behavioural relevance across visual space that underlies our perception of the environment.

Keywords: feature-based attention, object-based attention, gain modulation, receptive fields, extrastriate visual cortex, rhesus monkeys, saliency, topographic representation

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