Carrasco M, McElree B, Denisova K, 2001, "Transient covert attention accelerates the accrual of visual information at different eccentricities" Perception 30 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Transient covert attention accelerates the accrual of visual information at different eccentricities
M Carrasco, B McElree, K Denisova
We have recently shown that transient covert attention not only improves discriminability but also accelerates the accrual of visual information (Carrasco and McElree, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, in press). Given that the concentration of magno cells (fast-conducting visual cells) increases with eccentricity, in the present study we investigated whether: (a) the temporal dynamics were faster with increasing eccentricity; (b) the effect of attention on temporal dynamics varies with eccentricity. We tested this hypothesis by using time-course functions derived from the response - signal speed - accuracy trade-off (SAT) procedure for feature (orientation) and conjunction (orientation and spatial frequency) discrimination tasks, at 4 deg (near) and 9 deg (far) eccentricities. Each trial began with a peripheral precue (50 ms), which was either informative (small bar, indicating the target location) or neutral (a circle appearing in the middle of the display). After a 50 ms ISI, Gabor patches, with 0, 3, or 7 distractors, appeared for 100 ms. A tone sounded at 1 of 7 SOAs ranging from 40 to 2000 ms to prompt observers to respond. Precueing the target location improved discriminability and accelerated the temporal dynamics for all set sizes in both search tasks. Furthermore, the temporal dynamics were faster at far than near eccentricities.
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