Document Detail

Spatial attention is attracted in a sustained fashion toward singular points in the optic flow.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22905096     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
While a single approaching object is known to attract spatial attention, it is unknown how attention is directed when the background looms towards the observer as s/he moves forward in a quasi-stationary environment. In Experiment 1, we used a cued speeded discrimination task to quantify where and how spatial attention is directed towards the target superimposed onto a cloud of moving dots. We found that when the motion was expansive, attention was attracted towards the singular point of the optic flow (the focus of expansion, FOE) in a sustained fashion. The effects were less pronounced when the motion was contractive. The more ecologically valid the motion features became (e.g., temporal expansion of each dot, spatial depth structure implied by distribution of the size of the dots), the stronger the attentional effects. Further, the attentional effects were sustained over 1000 ms. Experiment 2 quantified these attentional effects using a change detection paradigm by zooming into or out of photographs of natural scenes. Spatial attention was attracted in a sustained manner such that change detection was facilitated or delayed depending on the location of the FOE only when the motion was expansive. Our results suggest that focal attention is strongly attracted towards singular points that signal the direction of forward ego-motion.
Shuo Wang; Masaki Fukuchi; Christof Koch; Naotsugu Tsuchiya
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-08-08
Journal Detail:
Title:  PloS one     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1932-6203     ISO Abbreviation:  PLoS ONE     Publication Date:  2012  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-08-20     Completed Date:  2013-02-11     Revised Date:  2013-07-12    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101285081     Medline TA:  PLoS One     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e41040     Citation Subset:  IM    
Computation and Neural Systems, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, United States of America.
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MeSH Terms
Depth Perception
Discrimination (Psychology)
Eye Movements
Models, Statistical
Motion Perception / physiology*
Optic Flow / physiology*
Optical Illusions
Psychophysics / methods
Reproducibility of Results

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