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

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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 ∼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.

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