Integrating Spatial and Temporal Models of Visual Attention

  • Wyble, Bradley Paul (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The human visual system uses attention to enhance the processing of information that is important for survival. For example, while driving on a highway, the sudden appearance of debris in the road will cause the visual system to rapidly orient towards the obstacle in order to allow avoidance. Attention orients in both space and time; it locks on to the location of the object, and also to the moment the object becomes visible. Currently, there is no well-accepted theory to describe how spatial and temporal factors interact in the control of attention. In order to create such a theory, Dr. Wyble will create a computational model of the spatial and temporal control of attention based on behavioral and EEG studies. This model will simulate the neural mechanisms that control attention and will thereby lead to a tighter coupling of theory and neuroscience.

The knowledge to be gained from this research will provide a simpler model of attention by combining existing theories from the spatial and temporal domains into a single framework. This framework will help us to understand why attention works in the way that it does, and also to understand why attention sometimes fails. The work may ultimately have applications in many areas, including transportation safety and visual prostheses for the blind. In addition, the work will include the development of a computer-programming tutorial aimed at increasing STEM training for students outside of traditional STEM fields.

Effective start/end date8/1/137/31/18


  • National Science Foundation: $354,257.00


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