Sequences of discrete attentional shifts emerge from a neural dynamic architecture for conjunctive visual search that operates in continuous time

AbstractThe goal of conjunctive visual search is to attentionally select a location at which the visual array matches a set of cued feature values. Here we present a neural dynamic architecture in which all neural processes operate in parallel in continuous time, but in which discrete sequences of processing steps emerge from dynamic instabilities. When biased competition selects an object location at which not all conjunctive feature values match the cue, the neural representation of a condition of dissatisfaction is activated and induces an attentional shift. Successful match activates the neural representation of a condition of satisfaction that ends the search. The search takes place in the current visual array but takes into account an autonomously acquired feature-space scene memory.

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