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The feature integration theory, developed by Treisman and Gelade since the early 1980s has been one of the most influential psychological models of human visual attention until recent years. According to Treisman, in a first step to visual processing, several primary visual features are processed and represented with separate feature maps that are later integrated in a saliency map that can be accessed in order to direct attention to the most conspicuous areas.

Treisman distinguishes two kinds of visual search tasks, feature search and conjunction search. Feature search can be performed fast and pre-attentively for targets defined by primitive features. Conjunction search is the serial search for targets defined by a conjunction of primitive features. It is much slower and requires conscious attention. She concluded from many experiments that color, orientation, and intensity are primitive features, for which feature search can be performed.

It was widely speculated, the saliency map could be located in early visual cortical areas, e.g. the Primary Visual Cortex (V1), however this is controversial.

Wolfe's popular Guided Search Paradigm has many similarities to the feature integration model.

Research literatureEdit

  • Treisman, A., “Features and objects: the fourteenth Bartlett Memorial Lecture”. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 40A, 201-236, 1988
  • Treisman, A. M. and Gelade, G., “A feature-integration theory of attention”, Cognitive Psychology, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 97-136, 1980
  • Treisman, Anne M., and Nancy G.Kanwisher, "Perceiving visually presented objects: recognition, awareness, and modularity," Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 8 (1998), pp 218-226

See alsoEdit

External links and references Edit

Aspects of attention
Absent-mindedness | Attentional control | Attention span | Attentional shift | Attention management | Attentional blink | Attentional bias | Attention economy | Attention and emotion | Attention optimization | Change blindness | Concentration |Dichotic listening | Directed attention fatigue | Distraction | Distractibility | Divided attention | Hyperfocus | Inattentional blindness | Mindfulness |Mind-wandering | Meditation | Salience | Selective attention | Selective inattention | Signal detection theory | Sustained attention | Vigilance | Visual search |
Developmental aspects of attention
centration | [[]] |
Neuroanatomy of attention
Attention versus memory in prefrontal cortex | Default mode network | Dorsal attention network | Medial geniculate nucleus | | Neural mechanisms | Ventral attention network | Intraparietal sulcus |
Neurochemistry of attention
Glutamatergic system  | [[]] |
Attention in clinical settings
ADHD | ADHD contoversy | ADD | AADD | Attention and aging | Attention restoration theory | Attention seeking | Attention training | Centering | Distractability | Hypervigilance | Hyperprosexia | Cognitive-shifting | Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy |
Attention in educational settings
Concentration |
Assessing attention
Benton | Continuous Performance Task | TOMM | Wechsler Memory Scale |
Treating attention problems
CBT | Psychotherapy |
Prominant workers in attention
Baddeley | Broadbent | [[]] | Treisman | Cave |
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