Attention, segregation, and textons: Bridging the gap between object-based attention and texton-based segregation. Academic Article uri icon


  • Studies of object-based attention (OBA) have suggested that attentional selection is intimately associated with discrete objects. However, the relationship of this association to the basic visual features (‘textons’) which guide the segregation of visual scenes into ‘objects’ remains largely unexplored. Here we study this hypothesized relationship for one of the most conspicuous features of early vision: orientation. To do so we examine how attention spreads through uniform (one ‘object’) orientation-deWned textures (ODTs), and across texture-deWned boundaries in discontinuous (two ‘objects’) ODTs. Using the divided-attention paradigm we Wnd that visual events that are known to trigger orientation-based texture segregation, namely perceptual boundaries deWned by high orientation and/or curvature gradients, also induce a signiWcant cost on attentional selection. At the same time we show that no eVect is incurred by the absolute value of the textons, i.e., by the general direction (or, the ‘grain’) of the texture—in conXict with previous Wndings in the OBA literature. Collectively these experiments begin to reveal the link between object-based attention and texton-based segregation, a link which also oVers important cross-disciplinary methodological advantages. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007