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Taosheng Liu, Youyang Hou; Global feature-based attention to orientation. Journal of Vision 2011;11(10):8. doi: 10.1167/11.10.8.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Selective attention to motion direction can modulate the strength of direction-selective sensory responses regardless of their spatial locations. Although such spatially global modulation is thought to be a general property of feature-based attention, few studies have examined visual features other than motion. Here, we used an adaptation protocol combined with attentional instructions to assess whether attention to orientation, a prominent feature in early visual processing, also exhibit such spatially global modulation. We adapted observers to an orientation by cuing them to attend to the orientation in a compound grating that was presented at a peripheral location. We then assessed the size of the tilt aftereffect at three locations that were never stimulated by the adapter. Attending to orientation produced a tilt aftereffect in these locations, indicating that attention modulated orientation-selective mechanisms in remote locations from the adapter. Furthermore, there was no difference in the magnitude of the tilt aftereffect for test stimuli that were located at different distances and hemifields to the adapter. These results suggest that attention to orientation spreads uniformly across the visual field. Thus, spatially global modulation seems to be a general property of feature-based attention, and it provides a flexible mechanism to modulate feature salience across the visual field.
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