he human visual system can only represent a small subset of the many objects present in cluttered scenes at any given time, such that objects compete for representation. Despite these processing limitations, the detection of object categories in cluttered natural scenes is remarkably rapid. How does the brain efficiently select goal-relevant objects from cluttered scenes? In the present study, we used multivariate decoding of magneto-encephalography (MEG) data to track the neural representation of within-scene objects as a function of top-down attentional set. Participants detected categorical targets (cars or people) in natural scenes. The presence of these categories within a scene was decoded from MEG sensor patterns by training linear classifiers on differentiating cars and people in isolation and testing these classifiers on scenes containing one of the two categories. The presence of a specific category in a scene could be reliably decoded from MEG response patterns as early as 160 ms, despite substantial scene clutter and variation in the visual appearance of each category. Strikingly, we find that these early categorical representations fully depend on the match between visual input and top-down attentional set: only objects that matched the current attentional set were processed to the category level within the first 200 ms after scene onset. A sensor-space searchlight analysis revealed that this early attention bias was localized to lateral occipitotemporal cortex, reflecting top-down modulation of visual processing. These results show that attention quickly resolves competition between objects in cluttered natural scenes, allowing for the rapid neural representation of goal-relevant objects.

The neural dynamics of attentional selection in natural scenes / Kaiser, Daniel Sebastian; Oosterhof, Nikolaas Nuttert; Peelen, Marius Vincent. - In: THE JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE. - ISSN 0270-6474. - 36:41(2016), pp. 10522-10528. [10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1385-16.2016]

The neural dynamics of attentional selection in natural scenes

Kaiser, Daniel Sebastian;Oosterhof, Nikolaas Nuttert;Peelen, Marius Vincent
2016

Abstract

he human visual system can only represent a small subset of the many objects present in cluttered scenes at any given time, such that objects compete for representation. Despite these processing limitations, the detection of object categories in cluttered natural scenes is remarkably rapid. How does the brain efficiently select goal-relevant objects from cluttered scenes? In the present study, we used multivariate decoding of magneto-encephalography (MEG) data to track the neural representation of within-scene objects as a function of top-down attentional set. Participants detected categorical targets (cars or people) in natural scenes. The presence of these categories within a scene was decoded from MEG sensor patterns by training linear classifiers on differentiating cars and people in isolation and testing these classifiers on scenes containing one of the two categories. The presence of a specific category in a scene could be reliably decoded from MEG response patterns as early as 160 ms, despite substantial scene clutter and variation in the visual appearance of each category. Strikingly, we find that these early categorical representations fully depend on the match between visual input and top-down attentional set: only objects that matched the current attentional set were processed to the category level within the first 200 ms after scene onset. A sensor-space searchlight analysis revealed that this early attention bias was localized to lateral occipitotemporal cortex, reflecting top-down modulation of visual processing. These results show that attention quickly resolves competition between objects in cluttered natural scenes, allowing for the rapid neural representation of goal-relevant objects.
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Kaiser, Daniel Sebastian; Oosterhof, Nikolaas Nuttert; Peelen, Marius Vincent
The neural dynamics of attentional selection in natural scenes / Kaiser, Daniel Sebastian; Oosterhof, Nikolaas Nuttert; Peelen, Marius Vincent. - In: THE JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE. - ISSN 0270-6474. - 36:41(2016), pp. 10522-10528. [10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1385-16.2016]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/157516
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