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A Boolean map theory of visual attention

Dr. Liqiang Huang

Thursday, October 19, 2006, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

Princeton University, Center for the Study of Brain, Mind and Behavior (CSBMB)

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A theory is presented that attempts to answer two questions: (1) What visual contents can an observer consciously access at one moment? Answer: only one feature value (e.g. green) per dimension, but those feature values can be associated (as a group) with multiple spatially precise locations (comprising a single labeled Boolean map). (2) How can an observer voluntarily select what to access? Answer: In one of two ways: (a) Creating a Boolean map based on specifications involving just one dimension (e.g. color), or (b) Combining the output of (a) with a preexisting Boolean map via the Boolean operations of intersection and union. Boolean map theory offers a unified interpretation of a wide variety of visual-attention phenomena usually treated in separate literatures. In so doing, it also illuminates the neglected phenomena of attention to structure.

Dr. Liqiang Huang