Purchase this article with an account.
Jacob G. Martin, Patrick H. Cox, Clara A. Scholl, Maximilian Riesenhuber; A crash in visual processing: Interference between feedforward and feedback of successive targets limits detection and categorization. Journal of Vision 2019;19(12):20. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.12.20.
Download citation file:
© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The human visual system can detect objects in streams of rapidly presented images at presentation rates of 70 Hz and beyond. Yet, target detection is often impaired when multiple targets are presented in quick temporal succession. Here, we provide evidence for the hypothesis that such impairments can arise from interference between “top-down” feedback signals and the initial “bottom-up” feedforward processing of the second target. Although it is has been recently shown that feedback signals are important for visual detection, this “crash” in neural processing affected both the detection and categorization of both targets. Moreover, experimentally reducing such interference between the feedforward and feedback portions of the two targets substantially improved participants' performance. The results indicate a key role of top-down re-entrant feedback signals and show how their interference with a successive target's feedforward process determine human behavior. These results are not just relevant for our understanding of how, when, and where capacity limits in the brain's processing abilities can arise, but also have ramifications spanning topics from consciousness to learning and attention.
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only