Talgar, C.P., Pelli, D., & Carrasco, M. (2004). Covert attention enhances letter identification without affecting channel tuning. Journal of Vision, 4(1), 22-31, http://journalofvision.org/4/1/3/, doi:10.1167/4.1.3.

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.

Keywords: covert attention, letter identification, spatial vision, critical-band masking, spatial frequency channel