Neurobiology of Value-Driven Attention
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What we pay attention to is influenced by reward learning. Converging evidence points to the idea that associative reward learning changes how visual stimuli are processed in the brain, rendering learned reward cues difficult to ignore. Behavioral evidence distinguishes value-driven attention from other established control mechanisms, suggesting a distinct underlying neurobiological process. Recently, studies have begun to explore the neural substrates of this value-driven attention mechanism. Here, I review the progress that has been made in this area, and synthesize the findings to provide an integrative account of the neurobiology of value-driven attention. The proposed account can explain both attentional capture by previously rewarded targets and the modulatory effect of reward on priming, as well as the decoupling of reward history and prior task relevance in value-driven attention.
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