On the relationship between value-driven and stimulus-driven attentional capture

  • Brian A. AndersonEmail author
  • Haena Kim
Short Report


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.


Selective attention Reward learning Eye movements Visual salience 



Special thanks to Mark Britton and Ming-Ray Liao for assistance with data collection.

Author contributions

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.

Supplementary material

13414_2019_1670_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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