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Reward guides vision when it's your thing: trait reward-seeking in reward-mediated visual priming.

Hickey C, Chelazzi L, Theeuwes J - PLoS ONE (2010)

Bottom Line: This is considered to result in part from an impact on perceptual and attentional processes: dopamine initiates a series of cognitive events that result in the priming of reward-associated perceptual features.We have also demonstrated that there is substantial individual variability in this effect.Participants with reward-seeking personalities are found to be those who allocate visual resources to objects characterized by reward-associated visual features.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Cognitive Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. c.hickey@psy.vu.nl

ABSTRACT
Reward-related mesolimbic dopamine is thought to play an important role in guiding animal behaviour, biasing approach towards potentially beneficial environmental stimuli and away from objects unlikely to garner positive outcome. This is considered to result in part from an impact on perceptual and attentional processes: dopamine initiates a series of cognitive events that result in the priming of reward-associated perceptual features. We have provided behavioural and electrophysiological evidence that this mechanism guides human vision in search, an effect we refer to as reward priming. We have also demonstrated that there is substantial individual variability in this effect. Here we show that behavioural differences in reward priming are predicted remarkably well by a personality index that captures the degree to which a person's behaviour is driven by reward outcome. Participants with reward-seeking personalities are found to be those who allocate visual resources to objects characterized by reward-associated visual features. These results add to a rapidly developing literature demonstrating the crucial role reward plays in attentional control. They additionally illustrate the striking impact personality traits can have on low-level cognitive processes like perception and selective attention.

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General paradigm.Target and salient distractor denoted.
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pone-0014087-g001: General paradigm.Target and salient distractor denoted.

Mentions: We have recently reported results from a series of experiments that suggest this perspective greatly underestimates the impact reward can have on visual attention [11], [12]. We had participants complete visual search experiments based on the additional singleton paradigm of Theeuwes [13] (see Figure 1). In this type of task participants search for a uniquely shaped target - known in the literature as a shape singleton - presented among a number of homogenous distractors. The target is sometimes the only unique object in the search array, but in other trials a color singleton is defined by giving one of the distractors unique color (often red when all other stimuli are green or vice versa). The pervasive finding is that participants are slower to discriminate features of the shape singleton target when the color singleton distractor is present in the display, and this has been linked to the capture of attention to the location of the color singleton [13]–[15] (note that there is ongoing debate regarding this issue, see [16], [17] for recent reviews). We modified this paradigm slightly, adding high-magnitude (10 points) or low-magnitude (1 point) reward feedback at the end of every correct trial. Participants were instructed to maximize the number of points they received and were paid based on this number, but in fact reward magnitude was not tied to performance in any way: so long as participants responded correctly, they were as equally likely to receive high-magnitude reward as low.


Reward guides vision when it's your thing: trait reward-seeking in reward-mediated visual priming.

Hickey C, Chelazzi L, Theeuwes J - PLoS ONE (2010)

General paradigm.Target and salient distractor denoted.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2990710&req=5

pone-0014087-g001: General paradigm.Target and salient distractor denoted.
Mentions: We have recently reported results from a series of experiments that suggest this perspective greatly underestimates the impact reward can have on visual attention [11], [12]. We had participants complete visual search experiments based on the additional singleton paradigm of Theeuwes [13] (see Figure 1). In this type of task participants search for a uniquely shaped target - known in the literature as a shape singleton - presented among a number of homogenous distractors. The target is sometimes the only unique object in the search array, but in other trials a color singleton is defined by giving one of the distractors unique color (often red when all other stimuli are green or vice versa). The pervasive finding is that participants are slower to discriminate features of the shape singleton target when the color singleton distractor is present in the display, and this has been linked to the capture of attention to the location of the color singleton [13]–[15] (note that there is ongoing debate regarding this issue, see [16], [17] for recent reviews). We modified this paradigm slightly, adding high-magnitude (10 points) or low-magnitude (1 point) reward feedback at the end of every correct trial. Participants were instructed to maximize the number of points they received and were paid based on this number, but in fact reward magnitude was not tied to performance in any way: so long as participants responded correctly, they were as equally likely to receive high-magnitude reward as low.

Bottom Line: This is considered to result in part from an impact on perceptual and attentional processes: dopamine initiates a series of cognitive events that result in the priming of reward-associated perceptual features.We have also demonstrated that there is substantial individual variability in this effect.Participants with reward-seeking personalities are found to be those who allocate visual resources to objects characterized by reward-associated visual features.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Cognitive Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. c.hickey@psy.vu.nl

ABSTRACT
Reward-related mesolimbic dopamine is thought to play an important role in guiding animal behaviour, biasing approach towards potentially beneficial environmental stimuli and away from objects unlikely to garner positive outcome. This is considered to result in part from an impact on perceptual and attentional processes: dopamine initiates a series of cognitive events that result in the priming of reward-associated perceptual features. We have provided behavioural and electrophysiological evidence that this mechanism guides human vision in search, an effect we refer to as reward priming. We have also demonstrated that there is substantial individual variability in this effect. Here we show that behavioural differences in reward priming are predicted remarkably well by a personality index that captures the degree to which a person's behaviour is driven by reward outcome. Participants with reward-seeking personalities are found to be those who allocate visual resources to objects characterized by reward-associated visual features. These results add to a rapidly developing literature demonstrating the crucial role reward plays in attentional control. They additionally illustrate the striking impact personality traits can have on low-level cognitive processes like perception and selective attention.

Show MeSH