Overt and Covert attention interact with curvature-based perceptual singularities Academic Article uri icon


  • The presence of significant contrast in a texture's dominant feature (i.e., orientation) is the foundation of many texture segregation models. Nevertheless, texture patterns consisting of slowly varying orientations were shown to preattentively segregate into perceptually coherent regions. Without an abrupt feature gradient, the striking perceptual singularities of these orientation-defined textures (ODTs) are not detected by the standard texture segregation models, and instead were recently predicted by a new theory based on multiple texture curvatures. To further investigate the role of perceptual singularities in vision, here we explore their interaction with attentional processes. Indeed, we show that perceptual singularities interact and affect both covert and overt attention similar to classical findings whereby attentional selection is influenced by strong feature gradients or higher level visual objects. A series of experiments using divided attention and saccadic programming are described and analyzed.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010