A population-coding model of attention's influence on contrast response: Estimating neural effects from psychophysical data

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Human psychophysics and monkey physiology studies have shown that attention modulates early vision – contrast sensitivity and processing. But how can we bridge the effects of attention on perceptual performance to their neural underpinnings? Here we implement a population-coding model that estimates attentional effects on population contrast response given psychophysical data. Model results show that whereas endogenous (sustained, voluntary) attention changes population contrast-response via contrast gain, exogenous (transient, involuntary) attention changes population contrast-response via response gain.

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