Neural mechanisms of attention in naturalistic scenes

Friday, 2016, September 16 - 12:00
Visual Cognitive Neuroscience lab, Universitá degli studi di Trento, CIMeC


ABSTRACT: Our daily-life visual environments, such as city streets and living rooms, contain a multitude of objects. Out of this overwhelming amount of sensory information, we must efficiently detect and recognize those objects that are relevant for current goals, a task that is of critical importance for successful behavior. Visual and attention systems have developed and evolved to optimally perform real-world tasks like these, as reflected in the remarkable efficiency of naturalistic object detection. In this talk I will present our work investigating the functional and neural basis of attentional selection in natural scenes. I will present behavioral, fMRI, TMS, and MEG studies that reveal how the brain efficiently resolves competition between objects in cluttered natural scenes, allowing for the rapid neural representation and detection of goal-relevant objects.

Useful reference:

Peelen MV, Kastner S (2014). Attention in the real world: Toward understanding its neural basis. TiCS 18:242-250