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Interactions between top-down and bottom-up attention in barn owls (Tyto alba)

Overview of attention for article published in Animal Cognition, December 2017
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Title
Interactions between top-down and bottom-up attention in barn owls (Tyto alba)
Published in
Animal Cognition, December 2017
DOI 10.1007/s10071-017-1150-2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Tidhar Lev-Ari, Yoram Gutfreund

Abstract

Selective attention, the prioritization of behaviorally relevant stimuli for behavioral control, is commonly divided into two processes: bottom-up, stimulus-driven selection and top-down, task-driven selection. Here, we tested two barn owls in a visual search task that examines attentional capture of the top-down task by bottom-up mechanisms. We trained barn owls to search for a vertical Gabor patch embedded in a circular array of differently oriented Gabor distractors (top-down guided search). To track the point of gaze, a lightweight wireless video camera was mounted on the owl's head. Three experiments were conducted in which the owls were tested in the following conditions: (1) five distractors; (2) nine distractors; (3) five distractors with one distractor surrounded by a red circle; or (4) five distractors with a brief sound at the initiation of the stimulus. Search times and number of head saccades to reach the target were measured and compared between the different conditions. It was found that search time and number of saccades to the target increased when the number of distractors was larger (condition 2) and when an additional irrelevant salient stimulus, auditory or visual, was added to the scene (conditions 3 and 4). These results demonstrate that in barn owls, bottom-up attention interacts with top-down attention to shape behavior in ways similar to human attentional capture. The findings suggest similar attentional principles in taxa that have been evolutionarily separated for 300 million years.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 2 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 13 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 13 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 4 31%
Student > Doctoral Student 2 15%
Student > Bachelor 2 15%
Researcher 2 15%
Student > Master 1 8%
Other 1 8%
Unknown 1 8%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Neuroscience 6 46%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 3 23%
Psychology 1 8%
Physics and Astronomy 1 8%
Unknown 2 15%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 11 December 2017.
All research outputs
#9,810,653
of 12,281,604 outputs
Outputs from Animal Cognition
#808
of 905 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#246,231
of 345,003 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Animal Cognition
#27
of 30 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,281,604 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 11th percentile – i.e., 11% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 905 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 24.1. This one is in the 5th percentile – i.e., 5% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
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We're also able to compare this research output to 30 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 10th percentile – i.e., 10% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.