Feature-based attention in visual cortex

Trends Neurosci. 2006 Jun;29(6):317-22. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2006.04.001. Epub 2006 May 11.


Although most studies of visual attention have examined the effects of shifting attention between different locations in the visual field, attention can also be directed to particular visual features, such as a color, orientation or a direction of motion. Single-unit studies have shown that attention to a feature modulates neuronal signals in a range of areas in monkey visual cortex. The location-independent property of feature-based attention makes it particularly well suited to modify selectively the neural representations of stimuli or parts within complex visual scenes that match the currently attended feature. This review is part of the TINS special issue on The Neural Substrates of Cognition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Humans
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Visual Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*