Chapter

From Attention to Goal-Directed Behavior

pp 67-82

Attention and Neurodynamical Correlates of Natural Vision

  • P. E. MaldonadoAffiliated withPrograma de Fisiologia y Biofisica, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile Email author 
  • , J. P. OssandónAffiliated withPrograma de Fisiologia y Biofisica, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile
  • , F. J. FloresAffiliated withPrograma de Fisiologia y Biofisica, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

In the last decade, several lines of evidence have demonstrated that most sensory systems and particularly the visual system are intensely subject to dynami¬cal top-down influences that depend on the current behavior of the organism. During natural vision, eye movements and neuronal activity in many visual areas are dependent on attention and goal-directed actions of the organism. Yet, current models of visual perception are mainly based on studies that have examined neuro-nal activity using very simple stimuli, or restrictive behavioral conditions. Moreover, current receptive field models based on these studies appear to fail when they are tested during experiments that used natural stimuli or complex visual behavior. In this chapter, we discuss new evidence showing that the classical receptive field is an incomplete description of the response of neurons in the visual system, largely because we have overlooked top-down influences in neuronal activity and behavior. We argue that the use of natural stimuli and natural behaviors such as free viewing, by including attention and other top-down mechanisms, can provide new insights into the neurodynamical correlates of visual perception.