Effect of distracting faces on visual selective attention in the monkey

Rogier Landman, Jitendra Sharma, Mriganka Sur, Robert Desimone. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Dec 2014.


In primates, visual stimuli with social and emotional content tend to attract attention. Attention might be captured through rapid, automatic, subcortical processing or guided by slower, more voluntary cortical processing. Here we examined whether irrelevant faces with varied emotional expressions interfere with a covert attention task in macaque monkeys. In the task, the monkeys monitored a target grating in the periphery for a subtle color change while ignoring distracters that included faces…