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FeatureGate model of visual selection

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The FeatureGate model of visual selection was developed by Kyle Cave asan attempt to explain the results from a number of different studies in visual attention. The model follows a neural network consisting of a hierarchy of spatial maps.

Attentional gates control the flow of information at each level of the hierarchy. They are jointly controlled by a Bottom-Up System, favoring locations with unique features, and a Top-Down System, favoring locations with features designated as target features.

The model is called FeatureGate because the gating of each location depends on the features present.

The model helps integrate a number of findings related to:


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  • Cave, K.R. (1999). The FeatureGate Model of Visual Selection. Psychological Research, 62, 182-194.
  • Kim, M-S., & Cave, K. R. (1999). Top-down and bottom-up attentional control: On the nature of the interference from a salient distractor. Perception & Psychophysics,61, 1009-1023.

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