Attentional binding and the root of visual illusions

Document Type: 
ASSC Conference Item
Article Type: 
Theoretical
Disciplines: 
Neuroscience
Topics: 
Attention
Keywords: 
Attention, binding, flash-lag effect
Deposited by: 
Dr Marcus Baldo
Date of Issue: 
2007
Authors: 
Marcus Baldo
Event Dates: 
22-25 June 2007
Event Location: 
Las Vegas, USA
Event Title: 
11th annual meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness
Event Type: 
ASSC Conference
Presentation Type: 
Poster
Refereed: 
No
Number of Pages: 
1
Abstract: 
The need to identify a specific feature of an object at an exact instant in time is an element of vital perceptual tasks. A hotly debated example is the flash-lag effect (FLE): A moving object appears to lead a briefly flashed object, even when the two are aligned. Also, in the perceptual asynchrony illusion (PAI), observers misjudge the synchrony between one cyclically alternating attribute (e.g., color: red versus blue) and another alternating feature (e.g., orientation: horizontal versus vertical). Considerable empirical support indicates that processing streams in the visual pathways are segregated, so that perceptual dimensions such as location, motion, color, and object identity are processed in separate brain areas. The attributes of an object, from local features to abstract properties, have to be bound together into a coherent representation by means of a coordinated activity taking place across widespread neuronal populations. Hence, a model was built up on the principle that the time-consuming process involved in attentionally binding multiple objects (or different parts of a single extended object) is at the core of the FLE. The present framework accommodates in a unifying perspective various empirical findings regarding not only the FLE but other perceptual phenomena as well.
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