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Acta Psychologica Sinica
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The role of feature and spatial location in value-driven attentional capture
BAI Xuejun1; LIU Li1,2; SONG Juan1; GUO Zhiying1
(1 Academy of Psychology and Behavior, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300074, China) (2 Department of Psychology, Tianjin University of Commerce, Tianjin 300134, China)
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Abstract  

When stimuli are associated with reward outcome, their visual features will acquire high attentional priority such that stimuli possessing those features can involuntarily capture attention. This phenomenon is called value-driven attentional capture. The results from Anderson’s (2014) study demonstrated that when a color feature was associated with a reward outcome in one spatial location but not another, attention can be captured only when the color feature appeared in the rewarded location. However, it is thought that Anderson’s experimental design did not involve the condition that color associated with high reward appeared in a neutral location in the test phase. The present study explored the role of feature and spatial location in value-driven attentional capture by designing the neutral location condition, using a training-testing paradigm. Experiment 1 was designed to test whether color stimuli presented in the specific spatial location can capture attention via reward-based learning or not. In the training phase, red targets appeared at four of eight possible stimulus positions; the number of appearance of each position was equal. For example, correct responses were accompanied by a higher reward when the targets appeared at the upper left or lower left position and accompanied by a lower reward when the targets appeared at the upper right or lower right positions. The other four positions were neutral locations, and no target appeared at those positions. In the test phase, the red stimulus was presented as distractor. It was found that when the red stimulus was presented at the position associated with higher-reward or at a neutral position between the two high-reward positions, attention can be captured. However, when it was presented at the position associated with lower-reward or other neutral positions, attention can not be captured. Experiment 2 was designed to test the interaction effects of color feature and spatial location in value-driven attentional capture. In the training phase, for example, correct responses were accompanied by higher rewards when red targets appeared at the upper left or lower left position, and were accompanied by lower rewards when green targets appeared at the upper right or lower right position. In the test phase, red or green stimuli were presented as distractors. The result showed when a higher-reward color stimulus appeared at the position associated with higher-reward or at a neutral position between the two high reward positions, attention could be captured. However, when it appeared at a position associated with lower-reward or other neutral positions, attention can not be captured; When a lower-reward color stimulus appear at a position associated with higher-reward or other positions, attention can not be captured. The present findings demonstrated that (1) the effect of attentional capture by specific spatial location associated with higher-reward showed some degree of generalization; (2) the participant’s study integration information (color and location) in the training phase cannot be generalized to partial features (e.g. independent color feature); (3) the generalization of value-driven attentional capture was selective.

Keywords value-driven attentional capture      color feature      spatial location     
Corresponding Authors: BAI Xuejun, E-mail: bxuejun@126.com; LIU Li, E-mail: liuli799@126.com    
Issue Date: 25 November 2016
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BAI Xuejun
LIU Li
SONG Juan
GUO Zhiying
Cite this article:   
BAI Xuejun,LIU Li,SONG Juan, et al. The role of feature and spatial location in value-driven attentional capture[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01357
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01357     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2016/V48/I11/1357
[1] Chen Xiangchuan, Zhang Daren, Tang Xiaowei(School of Life Science, China University of Science and Technology, Hefei, 230026),(Institute of High Energy Physics, Academia Sinica, Beijing, 100039),(Center for Brain Science, China University of Science and. SHORT-TERM MEMORY ON VISUO-SPATIAL LOCATION: FROM SUBSPAN TO SUPRASPAN[J]. , 1998, 30(04): 381-386.
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