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Attention developed quite early. Even very simple organisms, like drosophila and honeybees, show evidence of attentional processes.

Fruit flies and other flies as well as pigeons actively use the change in perception brought about by moving to extract information about the world.

Divisive normalization models describe neural responses well in cases of

  • olfactory perception in drosophila,
  • visual processing in retina and V1,
  • possibly in other cortical areas,
  • modulation of responses through attention in visual cortex.

Divisive normalization is probably implemented through (GABA-ergic) inhibition in some cases (fruitfly olfactory system). In others (V1), it seems to be implemented by different means.