On the relationship between value-driven and stimulus-driven attentional capture
Reward history, physical salience, and task relevance all influence the degree to which a stimulus competes for attention, reflecting value-driven, stimulus-driven, and goal-contingent attentional capture, respectively. Theories of value-driven attention have likened reward cues to physically salient stimuli, positing that reward cues are preferentially processed in early visual areas as a result of value-modulated plasticity in the visual system. Such theories predict a strong coupling between value-driven and stimulus-driven attentional capture across individuals. In the present study, we directly test this hypothesis, and demonstrate a robust correlation between value-driven and stimulus-driven attentional capture. Our findings suggest substantive overlap in the mechanisms of competition underlying the attentional priority of reward cues and physically salient stimuli.
KeywordsSelective attention Reward learning Eye movements Visual salience
Special thanks to Mark Britton and Ming-Ray Liao for assistance with data collection.
B.A.A. developed the study concept. B.A.A. and H.K. designed and programmed the experimental task. H.K. coded the data, which B.A.A. subsequently analyzed. B.A.A. and H.K. contributed to the writing of the manuscript.
The reported research was supported in part by a start-up package to BAA from Texas A&M University, and NARSAD Young Investigator Grant 26008 to BAA and NIH grant R01-DA046410 to BAA.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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