1.4 Visual Attention Model Development

The history of research and development toward selective visual attention can be divided into three phases. The first phase began at the time of William James about a century ago, and we refer to it as the biological study phase. Many neurophysiologists and psychologists have discovered valuable truths and developed theories of visual attention in this first phase.

Although, during the ancient era (300 bc), Aristotle found the attention phenomenon for humans or animals, the real research work of visual attention was introduced in James's book, The Principles of Psychology [21]. The concepts of pre-attention and attention, two-stage models, competition and normalization in the neuronal system, and the feature integration theory of attention and so on were proposed and discussed in the first phase [4, 5, 25, 26] with many psychological and physiological experiments. The theories and methodologies devised in this phase become the basis of building computational attention models later on.

The next phase started in 1980s. A two-dimensional map (i.e., saliency map) which encodes visual conspicuity stimulus was put forward by Koch and Ullman in 1985 [35]. Various computational models to automatically generate the saliency map, including spatial domain and frequency domain approaches, had been suggested to simulate bottom-up or top-down visual attention over the past 30 years [9–13, 43–45]. The phenomenon of visual attention in physiological and psychological ...

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