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Proceedings Paper

Stochastic resonance in attention switching
Author(s): Keiichi Kitajo; Kentaro Yamanaka; Lawrence M. Ward; Yoshiharu Yamamoto
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Paper Abstract

We demonstrate experimentally that the human brain can make use of externally added noise to modulate attention switching between spatial locations. To do this we implemented a psychophysical task. Subjects were asked to respond to a weak gray-level target presented inside a marker box either in the left or right visual field while they fixated a central cross. Signal detection performance was improved by presenting a low level of randomly flickering gray-level noise between and outside the two possible target locations, and worsened by higher levels of noise. Our results suggest that noise can optimize switching behavior between multistable attentional states of the human brain via the mechanism of stochastic resonance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 May 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5841, Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems III, (23 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.609501
Show Author Affiliations
Keiichi Kitajo, Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)
Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
Kentaro Yamanaka, Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
Lawrence M. Ward, Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)
Yoshiharu Yamamoto, Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
PRESTO, Japan Science Technology Agency (Japan)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5841:
Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems III
Nigel G. Stocks; Derek Abbott; Robert P. Morse, Editor(s)

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