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Vidhya Navalpakkam, Leonardo Chelazzi, Jan Theeuwes; Symposium Summary. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):29. doi: 10.1167/10.7.29.
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Adaptive behavior requires that we deploy attention to behaviorally relevant objects in our visual environment. The mechanisms of selective visual attention and how it affects visual perception have been a topic of extensive research in the last few decades. In comparison, little is known about the role of reward incentives and how they affect attention and visual perception. Generally, we choose actions that in prior experience have resulted in a rewarding outcome, a principle that has been formalized in reward learning theory. Recent developments in vision research suggest that selective attention may be guided by similar economic principles. This symposium will provide a forum for researchers examining the interplay between reward and attention, and their effects on visual perception and action, to present their work and discuss their developing ideas.
The goal of this symposium will be to help bridge the existing gap between the fields of vision that focused on attention, and decision-making that focused on reward, to better understand the combined roles of reward and attention on visual perception and action. Experts from different faculties including psychology, neuroscience and computational modeling will present novel findings on reward and attention, and outline challenges and future directions, that we hope will lead to a cohesive theory. The first three talks will focus on behavior and modeling. Leo Chelazzi will speak about how attentional deployment may be biased by the reward outcomes of past attentional episodes, such as the gains and losses associated with attending to objects in the past. Vidhya Navalpakkam will speak about how reward information may bias saliency computations to influence overt attention and choice in a visual search task. Miguel Eckstein will show how human eye movement strategies are influenced by reward, and how they compare with an ideal reward searcher. The last three talks will focus on neurophysiological evidence for interactions between reward and attention. Clayton Hickey will provide behavioral and EEG evidence for direct, non-volitional role of reward-related reinforcement learning in human attentional control. Pieter Roelfsema will present neural evidence on the remarkable correspondence between effects of reward and attention on competition between multiple stimuli, as early as in V1, suggesting a unification of theories of reward expectancy and attention. Finally, Jacqueline Gottlieb will present neural evidence from LIP on how reward-expectation shapes attention, and compare it with studies on how reward-expectation shapes decision-making.
We expect the symposium to be relevant to a wide audience with interests in psychology, neuroscience, and modeling of attention, reward, perception or decision-making.
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