August 2010
Volume 10, Issue 7
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2010
Selective attention to transparent motion is by blocking and not by attenuation
Author Affiliations
  • John Palmer
    Department of Psychology, University of Washington
  • Victor D. Nguyen
    Department of Psychology, University of Washington
  • Cathleen M. Moore
    Department of Psychology, University of Iowa
Journal of Vision August 2010, Vol.10, 225. doi:10.1167/10.7.225
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      John Palmer, Victor D. Nguyen, Cathleen M. Moore; Selective attention to transparent motion is by blocking and not by attenuation. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):225. doi: 10.1167/10.7.225.

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Abstract

A filtering paradigm was used to study selection by feature-based attention in transparent motion displays. Observers viewed a single field of dynamic random dots with net motion in several possible directions. The task was to discriminate between relevant directions of motion while ignoring irrelevant directions of motion. For example, one might discriminate between leftward and rightward motion while ignoring diagonal motions. By manipulating the motion strength in both relevant and irrelevant directions, one can test for selection by blocking versus selection by attenuation. With blocking, withdrawing attention prevents detection of even a strong stimulus; with attenuation, withdrawing attention can be overcome by a sufficiently strong stimulus. The results were consistent with blocking and not attenuation. They rule out models of attenuation such as a motion analog to the contrast gain model of contrast detection. Possible models of blocking include attention switching, response gain, or a selection process in decision rather than perception.

Palmer, J. Nguyen, V. D. Moore, C. M. (2010). Selective attention to transparent motion is by blocking and not by attenuation [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 10(7):225, 225a, http://www.journalofvision.org/content/10/7/225, doi:10.1167/10.7.225. [CrossRef]
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