Modeling dilution effects in perceptual load search tasks


A computational model of selective attention has been previously used to provide a concrete and comprehensive account for perceptual load findings in visual search tasks (Neokleous, Koushiou, Avraamides, & Schizas, 2009). Here, the same model was used to simulate findings from an experiment in which perceptual load effects were attributed to distractor dilution (Benoni & Tsal, 2010). By modeling at the neural level the continuous inhibitory interactions that take place among visual stimuli competing for cortical representation, the model reproduced successfully the behavioural pattern of results. The model thus offers a biologically-plausible way to reconcile findings that contradict Perceptual Load theory with those that support it

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