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Tiffany C. Ho, Scott Brown, Newton A. Abuyo, Eun-Hae J. Ku, John T. Serences; Perceptual consequences of feature-based attentional enhancement and suppression. Journal of Vision 2012;12(8):15. doi: 10.1167/12.8.15.
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Feature-based attention has been shown to enhance the responses of neurons tuned to an attended feature while simultaneously suppressing responses of neurons tuned to unattended features. However, the influence of these suppressive neuronal-level modulations on perception is not well understood. Here, we investigated the perceptual consequences of feature-based attention by having subjects judge which of four random dot patterns (RDPs) contained a motion signal (Experiment 1) or which of four RDPs contained the most salient nonrandom motion signal (Experiment 2). Subjects viewed pre-cues which validly, invalidly, or neutrally cued the direction of the target RDP. Behavioral data were fit using the linear ballistic accumulator (LBA) model; the model design that best described the data revealed that the rate of sensory evidence accumulation (drift rate) was highest on valid trials and systematically decreased until the cued direction and the target direction were orthogonal. These results demonstrate behavioral correlates of both feature-based attentional enhancement and suppression.
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