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Task-dependent modulation of target-flanker lateral interactions in vision

Freeman, E; Driver, J; (2005) Task-dependent modulation of target-flanker lateral interactions in vision. PERCEPT PSYCHOPHYS , 67 (4) 624 - 637.

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Abstract

Visibility of a central target Gabor element often improves in the presence of collinear flankers. Such lateral interactions may reflect fundamental mechanisms underlying the perceptual integration of contours in early vision. We recently reported (Freeman, Sagi, & Driver, 2001) attentional modulation of these interactions. Here, we test whether this modulation is task dependent. Subjects had to detect a near-threshold central target while performing a secondary discrimination task on one pair of flankers that could appear with another distractor pair (one pair collinear with the target, the other orthogonal). Central target thresholds were lowered when collinear flankers were judged for the secondary task, but only when this task concerned the global spatial relationship between these flankers (discrimination of their Vernier offset or global orientation). Other secondary tasks involving discriminating the local orientations, contrasts, or colors of the relevant flanker pair produced no such attentional modulation. However, this task-dependent modulation was observed only when two flanker pairs were present, not for displays with only a single flanker pair. Top-down modulation of lateral interactions may function to select between overlapping potential contours whenever the global spatial properties of one are task relevant.

Type:Article
Title:Task-dependent modulation of target-flanker lateral interactions in vision
Keywords:PRIMARY VISUAL-CORTEX, FEATURE-BASED ATTENTION, OBJECT-BASED ATTENTION, SELECTIVE ATTENTION, DETECTION FACILITATION, COLINEAR FACILITATION, CONTEXTUAL INFLUENCES, SPATIAL INTERACTIONS, CONTOUR INTEGRATION, CONTRAST DETECTION
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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