Value Driven Attentional Capture

Value driven attentional capture is a paradigm that examines how cues that are associated with value are more distracting and tend to involuntarily capture attention even when they are not relevant. The way this is done is by presenting different color cues to participants and making one of the cues a “higher value” than the others. This is done by making the high value cue yield the highest number of points. The next task is a visual search, where participants are told that the previous cues do not apply, and all they need to do is find the target item as fast as possible. What we see is that participants are distracted by the previously high value cue when it is not the target item, suggesting that previously high value information causes involuntary attentional capture. We want to examine if we are able to unlearn information about value, and if unlearning occurs faster by neutralizing or punishing the original high value cue. We can do this through a reward reconfiguration task and subsequent visual search tasks. In the future, we can look at if unlearning value is possible or if something else, such as avoidance, may be occurring.

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