November 2002
Volume 2, Issue 7
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   November 2002
Covert attention speeds information accrual more along the vertical than the horizontal meridian
Author Affiliations
  • Marisa Carrasco
    New York University, USA
Journal of Vision November 2002, Vol.2, 458. doi:10.1167/2.7.458
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      Marisa Carrasco, Brian McElree, Anna Marie Giordano; Covert attention speeds information accrual more along the vertical than the horizontal meridian. Journal of Vision 2002;2(7):458. doi: 10.1167/2.7.458.

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Abstract

Background: 1) Transient covert attention improves discriminability and accelerates the rate of visual information processing in feature and conjunction searches (Carrasco & McElree, 2001). 2) Contrast sensitivity and spatial resolution are better along the horizontal than vertical meridian, and covert attention improves discriminability at all locations to a similar degree (Carrasco et al., 2001; Talgar & Carrasco, In Press).

Goal: We investigated whether: a) the rate of information processing differs for different locations at a fixed eccentricity; b) the effect of transient covert attention on the dynamics varies as a function of location.

Methods: We used time-course functions derived from the response-signal speed-accuracy trade-off (SAT) procedure for an orientation feature discrimination task. Each trial began with a precue (67 ms), which was either informative (small circle, indicating the target location) or neutral (a circle in the middle of the display). After a 53 ms ISI, Gabor patches, with 0 or 7 distracters, appeared for 40 ms. The target and distracters were presented at 8 equidistant locations from fixation at 4° eccentricity. A tone sounded at 1 of 7 SOAs, ranging from 40 to 2000 ms, to prompt observers to respond.

Results: a) SAT asymptotic accuracy (d′) was higher and the rate of information processing was faster at the locations on the horizontal than the vertical meridian; b) precueing the target location improved discriminability to a similar extent across the visual field but accelerated information accrual more on the vertical than the horizontal meridian.

Conclusion: These results indicate that performance is superior on the horizontal than the vertical meridian because discriminability is higher and temporal dynamics are faster. Interestingly, whereas covert attention affects discriminability to a similar extent across the visual field, it speeds up information accrual more at the least privileged locations, i.e. on the vertical meridian.

Carrasco, M., McElree, B., Giordano, A. M.(2002). Covert attention speeds information accrual more along the vertical than the horizontal meridian [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 2( 7): 458, 458a, http://journalofvision.org/2/7/458/, doi:10.1167/2.7.458. [CrossRef]
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