Attention in the real world: Toward understanding its neural basis

Marius V. Peelen, Sabine Kastner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

95 Scopus citations

Abstract

The efficient selection of behaviorally relevant objects from cluttered environments supports our everyday goals. Attentional selection has typically been studied in search tasks involving artificial and simplified displays. Although these studies have revealed important basic principles of attention, they do not explain how the brain efficiently selects familiar objects in complex and meaningful real-world scenes. Findings from recent neuroimaging studies indicate that real-world search is mediated by 'what' and 'where' attentional templates that are implemented in high-level visual cortex. These templates represent target-diagnostic properties and likely target locations, respectively, and are shaped by object familiarity, scene context, and memory. We propose a framework for real-world search that incorporates these recent findings and specifies directions for future study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-250
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Natural scenes
  • Object perception
  • Vision
  • Visual search

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