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Attentional resolution.

Attention can enhance selectively the visual information processing of particular locations or objects. Recent studies have shown that this enhancement has limited spatial resolution, the smallest regions that can be isolated by attention are much coarser than the smallest details that can be resolved by vision. Multiple similar objects spaced more finely than the limit of attentional resolution cannot be individuated for further processing and can only be perceived as a grouped texture. As a result, at any given time, only part of the spatial and temporal information registered by the early sensory systems is available to conscious perception. It is likely that attentional resolution is limited at a stage beyond V1 and that it has a finer grain in the lower visual field than in the upper field. The spatial aperture of attention is elongated along the radial axis relative to fixation. The briefest temporal window of attention is also much broader than visual temporal resolution. Many perceptual phenomena related to rapid serial visual presentation may reflect the limited temporal resolution of attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)



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