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Quadrantic deficit reveals anatomical constraints on selection

Summary: Quadrantic deficit reveals anatomical constraints
on selection
Thomas A. Carlson*
, George A. Alvarez§
, and Patrick Cavanagh*¶
*Department of Psychology, Harvard University, 33 Kirkland Street, 7th floor, Cambridge, MA 02138; Helmholtz Research Institute, Experimental
Psychology, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, NL-3584 CS, Utrecht, The Netherlands; §Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Building 46, Room 4078c, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139; and ¶Laboratoire de Psychologie de la Perception,
UniversiteŽ ReneŽ Descartes, 45 Rue des Saint-Pe`res, 75270 Paris Cedex 6, France
Edited by Leslie G. Ungerleider, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, and approved June 27, 2007 (received for review March 22, 2007)
Our conscious experience is of a seamless visual world, but many
of the cortical areas that underlie our capacity for vision have a
fragmented or asymmetrical representation of visual space. In fact,
the representation of the visual field is fragmented into quadrants
at the level of V2, V3, and possibly V4. In theory, this division could
have no functional consequences and therefore no impact on
behavior. Contrary to this expectation, we find robust quadrant-
level interference effects when attentively tracking two moving
targets. Performance improves when target objects appear in
separate quadrants (straddling either the horizontal or vertical


Source: Alvarez, George A. - Department of Psychology, Harvard University


Collections: Biology and Medicine