Towards a Resolution Theory of Visual Attention

Yehoshua Tsal, Nachshon Meiran, Dominique Lamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The present paper proposes that preattended visual information produce a coarse representation by automatically stimulating a detector that responds to a range of similar features. Directing attention to a given location improves the resolution of features by computing the relative activation of overlapping internal detectors. A selective review of the literature shows that the proposed distinction is supported by a variety of studies investigating diverse phenomena of target-background similarity effects, conjunctive search, illusory conjunctions, feature similarity effects, global precedence, shape discrimination, detection of signals, categorical search, curvature discrimination, and length perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-330
Number of pages18
JournalVisual Cognition
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 1995


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