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Object based attention and visual area LO.

De-Wit, L. and Kentridge, R. W. and Milner, A. D. (2009) 'Object based attention and visual area LO.', Neuropsychologia., 47 (6). pp. 1483-1490.


We investigated the neural basis of so-called “object-based attention” by examining patient D.F., who has visual form agnosia caused by bilateral damage to the lateral occipital (LO) area of the ventral visual stream. We tested D.F.’s object-based attention in two ways. In the first experiment, we used a spatial cueing procedure to compare the costs associated with shifting attention within versus between two separate outline figures. D.F. did not show the normal advantage of within-object over between-object attention shifts. In the second experiment, we used a complementary paradigm in which two separate stimuli, presented either on the same or on different objects, have to be identified as the same or different, We found no evidence for the normal pattern of superior performance for within versus between figure comparisons. In a third experiment, we checked that D.F. showed normal shift costs for invalid as opposed to valid cueing in a standard Posner spatial attention task. In a final experiment, we compared horizontal versus vertical attention shifting in group of healthy controls without the presence of outline rectangles, and found that their pattern of shift costs was indistinguishable from that seen in D.F. when the rectangles were present (Experiment 1). We conclude that whilst D.F. has a normal spatial orienting system this is completely uninfluenced by object structure. We suggest that area LO may mediate form processing precisely at the stage where visual representations normally influence the spread of attention.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Vision, Perception, Object, Attention, LO.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Record Created:08 Oct 2009 12:35
Last Modified:25 Nov 2011 09:58

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