Investigating a space-variant weighted salience account of visual selection

Abstract

Weighted salience models are a popular framework for image-driven visual attentional processes. These models operate by: sampling the visual environment; calculating feature maps; combining them in a weighted sum and using this to determine where the eye will fixate next. We examine these stages in turn. We find that a biologically plausible non-uniform retinal sampling causes feature coding unreli- ability. The linear weighted sum operation seems an adequate model if statistical feature dimension dependencies are considered. Using signal detection theory we find good discrimination between targets and non-targets in the weighted sum, but the fixation criterion of ‘peak salience’ is suboptimal.

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