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Kelly S. Steelman-Allen, Jason S. McCarley, Jeffrey R. W. Mounts; Localized attentional interference reflects competition for reentrant processing. Journal of Vision 2009;9(8):215. doi: 10.1167/9.8.215.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Visual performance is compromised when attention is divided between objects that are near one another in the visual field. This effect, termed localized attentional interference (LAI), has been hypothesized to reflect competition between visual object representations for the control of cortical neural responses (McCarley, Mounts, & Kramer 2007). To determine whether LAI arises during the feedforward sweep or during reentrant processing, the present study examined the influence of poststimulus pattern and four-dot masks on the strength of the effect. Experiment 1 found that pattern masks, which are believed to compromise feedforward processing, do not produce stronger LAI than do four-dot masks, which are believed to leave feedforward processing undisrupted. Experiment 2 found that LAI is weaker when reentrant processing is interrupted shortly after initiation than when reentrant processing is allowed to run to completion. Results suggest that LAI emerges from competition between objects during reentrant processing.
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