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You see what you have learned. Evidence for an inter-relation of associative learning and visual selective attention

You see what you have learned. Evidence for an inter-relation of associative learning and visual selective attention
You see what you have learned. Evidence for an inter-relation of associative learning and visual selective attention
Besides visual salience and observers' current intention, prior learning experience may influence deployment of visual attention. Associative learning models postulate that observers pay more attention to stimuli previously experienced as reliable predictors of specific outcomes. To investigate the impact of learning experience on deployment of attention, we combined an associative learning task with a visual search task and measured event-related potentials of the EEG as neural markers of attention deployment. In the learning task, participants categorized stimuli varying in color/shape with only one dimension being predictive of category membership. In the search task, participants searched a shape target while disregarding irrelevant color distractors. Behavioral results showed that color distractors impaired performance to a greater degree when color rather than shape was predictive in the learning task. Neurophysiological results show that the amplified distraction was due to differential attention deployment (N2pc). Experiment 2 showed that when color was predictive for learning, color distractors captured more attention in the search task (ND component) and more suppression of color distractor was required (PD component). The present results thus demonstrate that priority in visual attention is biased toward predictive stimuli, which allows learning experience to shape selection. We also show that learning experience can overrule strong top-down control (blocked tasks, Experiment 3) and that learning experience has a longer-term effect on attention deployment (tasks on two successive days, Experiment 4).
0048-5772
1483-1497
Feldmann-Wustefeld, Tobias
ad65a041-3b03-4374-8483-2eb878a6c909
Uengoer, Metin
9cec478d-7fda-43e2-8602-41f34b8612b4
Schubö, Anna
b76528b7-1aba-424c-ba62-242cbc0bfcd9
Feldmann-Wustefeld, Tobias
ad65a041-3b03-4374-8483-2eb878a6c909
Uengoer, Metin
9cec478d-7fda-43e2-8602-41f34b8612b4
Schubö, Anna
b76528b7-1aba-424c-ba62-242cbc0bfcd9

Feldmann-Wustefeld, Tobias, Uengoer, Metin and Schubö, Anna (2015) You see what you have learned. Evidence for an inter-relation of associative learning and visual selective attention. Psychophysiology, 52 (11), 1483-1497. (doi:10.1111/psyp.12514).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Besides visual salience and observers' current intention, prior learning experience may influence deployment of visual attention. Associative learning models postulate that observers pay more attention to stimuli previously experienced as reliable predictors of specific outcomes. To investigate the impact of learning experience on deployment of attention, we combined an associative learning task with a visual search task and measured event-related potentials of the EEG as neural markers of attention deployment. In the learning task, participants categorized stimuli varying in color/shape with only one dimension being predictive of category membership. In the search task, participants searched a shape target while disregarding irrelevant color distractors. Behavioral results showed that color distractors impaired performance to a greater degree when color rather than shape was predictive in the learning task. Neurophysiological results show that the amplified distraction was due to differential attention deployment (N2pc). Experiment 2 showed that when color was predictive for learning, color distractors captured more attention in the search task (ND component) and more suppression of color distractor was required (PD component). The present results thus demonstrate that priority in visual attention is biased toward predictive stimuli, which allows learning experience to shape selection. We also show that learning experience can overrule strong top-down control (blocked tasks, Experiment 3) and that learning experience has a longer-term effect on attention deployment (tasks on two successive days, Experiment 4).

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e-pub ahead of print date: 4 September 2015
Published date: November 2015

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 424412
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/424412
ISSN: 0048-5772
PURE UUID: 0f359dc9-e776-4d86-838f-aea4ac6d2892

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Date deposited: 05 Oct 2018 11:37
Last modified: 05 Oct 2018 11:37

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Contributors

Author: Metin Uengoer
Author: Anna Schubö

University divisions

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