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Research Article The Representation of Simple

Summary: Research Article
The Representation of Simple
Ensemble Visual Features
Outside the Focus of Attention
George A. Alvarez and Aude Oliva
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ABSTRACT--The representation of visual information in-
side the focus of attention is more precise than the repre-
sentation of information outside the focus of attention. We
found that the visual system can compensate for the cost
of withdrawing attention by pooling noisy local features
and computing summary statistics. The location of an
individual object is a local feature, whereas the center
of mass of several objects (centroid) is a summary feature
representing the mean object location. Three experiments
showed that withdrawing attention degraded the repre-
sentation of individual positions more than the represen-
tation of the centroid. It appears that information outside
the focus of attention can be represented at an abstract
level that lacks local detail, but nevertheless carries a


Source: Alvarez, George A. - Department of Psychology, Harvard University
Oliva, Aude - Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences