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Object-Based Attention and Occlusion: Evidence From Normal Participants and a Computational Model

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journal contribution
posted on 01.08.1998 by Marlene Behrmann, Richard S. Zemel, Michael C. Mozer
One way of perceptually organizing a complex visual scene is to attend selectively to information in a particular physical location. Another way of reducing the complexity in the input is to attend selectively to an individual object in the scene and to process its elements preferentially. This latter, object-based attention process was examined, and the predicted superiority for reporting features from 1 relative to 2 objects was replicated in a series of experiments. This object-based process was robust even under conditions of occlusion, although there were some boundary conditions on its operation. Finally, an account of the data is provided via simulations of the findings in a computational model. The claim is that object-based attention arises from a mechanism that groups together those features based on internal representations developed over perceptual experience and then preferentially gates these features for later, selective processing.