Computational visual attention systems and their cognitive foundations
Based on concepts of the human visual system, computational visual attention systems aim to detect regions of interest in images. Psychologists, neurobiologists, and computer scientists have investigated visual attention thoroughly during the last decades and profited considerably from each other. However, the interdisciplinarity of the topic holds not only benefits but also difficulties: Concepts of other fields are usually hard to access due to differences in vocabulary and lack of knowledge of the relevant literature. This article aims to bridge this gap and bring together concepts and ideas from the different research areas. It provides an extensive survey of the grounding psychological and biological research on visual attention as well as the current state of the art of computational systems. Furthermore, it presents a broad range of applications of computational attention systems in fields like computer vision, cognitive systems, and mobile robotics. We conclude with a discussion on the limitations and open questions in the field.