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Visual search visual streams and visual architectures

, : Visual search visual streams and visual architectures. Perception & Psychophysics. 50(4): 388-403

Most psychological, physiological, and computational models of early vision suggest that retinal information is divided into a parallel set of feature modules. The dominant theories of visual search assume that these modules form a "blackboard" architecture: a set of independent representations that communicate only through a central processor. A review of research shows that blackboard-based theories, such as feature-integration theory, cannot easily explain the existing data. The experimental evidence is more consistent with a "network" architecture, which stresses that: feature modules are directly connected to one another, features and their locations are represented together, feature detection and integration are not distinct processing stages, and no executive control process, such as focal attention, is needed to integrate features. Attention is not a spotlight that synthesizes objects from raw features. Instead, it is better to conceptualize attention as an aperture which masks irrelevant visual information.

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Accession: 008000998

PMID: 1758771

DOI: 10.3758/bf03212232

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