On the relationship between value-driven and stimulus-driven attentional capture.
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Reward history, physical salience, and task relevance all influence the degree to which a stimulus competes for attention, reflecting value-driven, stimulus-driven, and goal-contingent attentional capture, respectively. Theories of value-driven attention have likened reward cues to physically salient stimuli, positing that reward cues are preferentially processed in early visual areas as a result of value-modulated plasticity in the visual system. Such theories predict a strong coupling between value-driven and stimulus-driven attentional capture across individuals. In the present study, we directly test this hypothesis, and demonstrate a robust correlation between value-driven and stimulus-driven attentional capture. Our findings suggest substantive overlap in the mechanisms of competition underlying the attentional priority of reward cues and physically salient stimuli.