Relating value-driven attention to psychopathology.
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Reward-associated objects receive preferential attention, reflecting a bias in information processing that develops automatically following associative learning. Mounting evidence suggests that such value-driven attention operates abnormally in certain psychopathologies, with attentional biases for reward-associated objects being either exaggerated or blunted compared to healthy controls. Here, I review the evidence linking value-driven attention to psychopathology, including drug addiction, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), compulsivity, and impulsive and risky decision-making. I conclude by offering an integrative framework for conceptualizing the link between value-driven attention and psychopathology, along with suggestions for future research into this burgeoning area of investigation, including research on object attachment.