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Title: A computational dynamical model of human visual cortex for visual search and feature-based attention
Author: Harrison, David Graham
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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Visual attention can be deployed to locations within the visual array (spatial attention), to individual features such as colour and form (feature-based attention), or to entire objects (object-based attention). Objects are composed of features to form a perceived ‘whole’. This compositional object representation reduces the storage demands by avoiding the need to store every type of object experienced. However, this approach exposes a problem of binding these constituent features (e.g. form and colour) into objects. The problem is made explicit in the higher areas of the ventral stream as information about a feature’s location is absent. For feature-based attention and search, activations flow from the inferotemporal cortex to primary visual cortex without spatial cues from the dorsal stream, therefore the neural effect is applied to all locations across the visual field [79, 60, 7, 52]. My research hypothesis is that biased competition occurs independently for each cued feature, and is implemented by lateral inhibition between a feedforward and a feedback network through a cortical micro-circuit architecture. The local competition for each feature can be combined in the dorsal stream via spatial congruence to implement a secondary spatial attention mechanism, and in early visual areas to bind together the distributed featural representation of a target object.
Supervisor: de Kamps, Marc Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available