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Istituto di scienze e tecnologie della cognizione

Torna all'elenco Contributi in rivista anno 2011

Contributo in rivista

Tipo: Articolo in rivista

Titolo: Attention allocation modulates the processing of hierarchical visual patterns: A comparative analysis of capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) and humans

Anno di pubblicazione: 2011

Autori: De Lillo C, Spinozzi G, Palumbo M, Giustino G

Autori CNR:


Abstract: Humans show a global advantage when processing hierarchical visual patterns and detect the global level of stimulus structure more accurately and faster than the local level in several stimulus contexts. By contrast, capuchins (Cebus apella) and other monkey species show a strong local advantage. A key factor which, if manipulated, could cause an inversion of this effect in monkeys is still to be found. In this study we examined whether it was possible to induce attention allocation to global and local levels of perceptual analysis in capuchin monkeys and if by doing so, their local dominance could be reversed. We manipulated attentional bias using a matching-to-sample (MTS) task where the proportion of trials requiring global and local processing varied between conditions. The monkeys were compared with humans tested with the same paradigm. Monkeys showed a local advantage in the local bias condition but a global advantage in the global bias condition. The role of attention in processing was confined to the local trials in a first phase of testing but extended to both local and global trials in the course of task practice. Humans exhibited an overall global dominance and an effect of attentional bias on the speed of processing of the global and local level of the stimuli. These results indicate a role for attention in the processing of hierarchical stimuli in monkeys and are discussed in relation to the extent to which they can explain the differences between capuchin monkeys and humans observed in this and other studies.

Numero volume: 37

Parole chiave:

  • global-local
  • attention
  • primates
  • perception
  • Cebus apella

Strutture CNR:


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