Combining spatial and feature-based attention within the receptive field of MT neurons

Vision Res. 2009 Jun;49(10):1188-93. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2009.04.003. Epub 2009 Apr 10.


This study investigates the effects of feature-based attention on responses of direction-selective neurons in the middle temporal area (MT) of macaque visual cortex to attended stimuli inside the receptive field. Redirecting attention between the preferred and null direction of transparent random dot motion patterns caused a mean modulation of responses of approximately 32%, about half of what was observed when the two directions of motion in the receptive field were spatially separated allowing feature-based and spatial attention to work in concert. This is consistent with models of visual attention that interpret the attentional modulation of a neuron as the combination of all attentional influences, treating stimulus location simply as another feature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Macaca
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Psychophysics
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*