Differential effects of transient attention on inferred parvocellular and magnocellular processing

Yaffa Yeshurun, Gilad Sabo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pulsed-pedestal paradigm consists of the simultaneous brief presentation of a test stimulus and luminance pedestals. Processing with this paradigm is thought to be mediated by the parvocellular pathway. The steady-pedestal paradigm consists of the brief presentation of a test stimulus against a continuously presented luminance pedestals. Processing with this paradigm is thought to be mediated by the magnocellular pathway. To test the prediction that transient attention should have a differential effect on performance with these two paradigms, we added to their typical procedures peripheral precues that trigger transient attention. As expected, we have found that the attraction of transient attention to the target location improved performance with the pulsed-pedestal paradigm, but had no reliable effect on performance with the steady-pedestal paradigm. These findings support the hypothesis that transient attention favors parvocellular over magnocellular processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-29
Number of pages9
JournalVision Research
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by THE ISRAEL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Grant (No. 748/05) to Y. Yeshurun. Part of this research formed the M.A. thesis of G. Sabo under the supervision of Y. Yeshurun. We thank Branka Spehar, Philip Smith, Marisa Carrasco, and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.


  • Magnocellular
  • Parvocellular
  • Pulsed-pedestal
  • Steady-pedestal
  • Transient-attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Ophthalmology

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