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Nobuhiko Wagatsuma, Ryohei Shimizu, Ko Sakai; Spatial attention in early vision for the perception of border ownership. Journal of Vision 2008;8(7):22. doi: 10.1167/8.7.22.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Spatial attention alters contrast gain in early visual areas, which might affect the determination of border ownership (BO) that indicates the direction of figure with respect to the border. We investigated the role of spatial attention applied to early vision in the determination of BO with a computational model that consists of V1, V2, and posterior parietal (PP) modules. Attention alters contrast gain in the V1 module so that it enhances local contrast. The V2 module determines BO based on the surrounding contrast extracted by the V1 module. The simulation results showed that the attention significantly modulates BO; BO is even flipped in figures with ambiguous BO while BO is stable for unambiguous figures such as a simple square. To evaluate the model quantitatively, we carried out psychophysical experiments to measure the effects of attention in the perception of BO and compared the results with those from corresponding simulations. The model showed good agreement with human perception including the determination of BO for ambiguous random-block stimuli. These results indicate that the activity of BO-selective neurons could be modulated significantly by spatial attention that alters local contrast gain in V1, which may account in part for automatic, bi-stable perception in ambiguous figures.
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