Covert attention enhances letter identification without affecting channel tuning

Cigdem P. Talgar, Denis G. Pelli, Marisa Carrasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Directing covert attention to the target location enhances sensitivity, but it is not clear how this enhancement comes about. Knowing that a single spatial frequency channel mediates letter identification, we use the critical-band-masking paradigm to investigate whether covert attention affects the spatial frequency tuning of that channel. We find that directing attention to the target location halves threshold energy without affecting the channel's spatial frequency tuning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-31
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of vision
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2 2004


  • Channel switching
  • Covert attention
  • Critical-band masking
  • Letter identification
  • Off-frequency looking
  • Spatial frequency channel
  • Spatial vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

Cite this