Attention and spatial resolution Spatial resolution Our ability
Attention and spatial resolution Spatial resolution Our ability to resolve small details (spatial resolution) is maximal at fovea and declines as we move away from fixation Antis, 1974 Most everyday life tasks benefit from heightened resolution Landolt squares Broken lines Vernier Yeshurun & Carrasco, 1998
Performance Acuity tasks: 2 Eccentricity (in deg) Attention and spatial resolution Attention improves performance in tasks limited by the visual systems spatial resolution, which decreases with eccentricity: Visual search Acuity tasks Texture segmentation Visual search
Performance decreases with target eccentricity Attention reduces this performance decrement, consistent with enhanced spatial resolution Carrasco & Yeshurun, 1998 Acuity task Attention improves performance in Landolt-square (acuity) and Vernier (hyperacuity) tasks
Effect increases with eccentricity Yeshurun & Carrasco, 1999 Acuity task attention decreases gap threshold at cued location and increase it at uncued location Montagna, Pestilli, & Carrasco, 2009 Spatial resolution However, heightened resolution is not always optimal Texture segmentation task Performance
+ performance peak fovea Eccentricity periphery Texture segmentation task Performance due to the mismatch between texture scale and average size of spatial filters as a function of eccentricity.
Performance + e.g., Gurnsey et al. 1996; Joffe & Scialfa 1995; Kehrer 1989, 1997; Morikawa 2000; Potechin & Gurnsey 2003 resolution too low resolution too high performance peak periphery
fovea Eccentricity Central performance drop (CPD): due to spatial resolution being too high at central locations. Average spatial filter size Attention & Texture segmentation Exogenous attention automatically enhances resolution, even when it impairs performance e.g., Yeshurun & Carrasco 1998; 2000; Talgar & Carrasco, 2002 SMALL TEXTURE SCALE valid
(viewing distance: 57 cm) neutral LARGE TEXTURE SCALE (viewing distance: 28 cm) 10 Attention & Texture segmentation Exogenous attention enhances resolution by increasing the sensitivity of high spatial frequency selective filters: - adapting to high (but not to low spatial frequencies) eliminates the CPD and the central attentional impairment
Carrasco, Loula & Ho, 2006 Baseline valid neutral High Spatial Frequencies Low Spatial Frequencies Attention & Texture segmentation Endogenous attention benefits performance at all eccentricities, suggesting a more flexible mechanism
Yeshurun, Montagna & Carrasco 2008 small texture scale valid (viewing distance: 100 cm) neutral large texture scale valid (viewing distance: 50 cm) neutral 12 EXOGENOUS Performance at central locations Performance at peripheral locations increase decrease?
improves improves improves small filters sensitivity AUTOMATICITY either increased or decreased? FLEXIBILITY? valid
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