August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
Non-Monetary Attentional Capture
Author Affiliations
  • Andrew Miranda
    Wichita State University
  • Navaneethan Siva
    Wichita State University
  • Evan Palmer
    Wichita State University
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 6. doi:
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      Andrew Miranda, Navaneethan Siva, Evan Palmer; Non-Monetary Attentional Capture. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):6.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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When stimuli are associated with monetary rewards, they can become more salient, increasing visual search efficiency when presented as targets or decreasing efficiency when presented as distractors. In previous studies, participants were told on each trial about the monetary reward they earned but did not actually receive the money until after the experiment was completed. Thus, changes in salience during the experiment were not due to receiving the money, but the rewarding effect of promised money. The aim of this project was to determine if non-monetary rewards are sufficient to produce the same increase in salience as monetary rewards. We incorporated non-monetary rewards into visual search by using a point system and sound effects to encourage good performance. Points were awarded after each trial for fast and accurate responses with bonus points given for streaks of correct trials. Adapting a paradigm from Anderson, Laurent and Yantis (2011), participants took part in both a training phase and a test phase. During the training phase, the colors red and green were associated with a high reward (a point bonus multiplier of x10 on correct trials) or a low reward (x2 on correct trials). During the test phase, color was irrelevant to the task and previously rewarded targets were sometimes presented as distractors. Results show that reaction times during the test phase were significantly longer on trials in which previously rewarded colors (both high and low reward conditions) were present in the distractor set. Thus, previously rewarded colors increased in salience during the training phase, and automatically captured attention in the test phase. These findings support the idea that non-monetary rewards such as points and sound effects can produce salience priming similar to monetary rewards. This provides researchers another option for encouraging good performance in experiments besides the use of monetary incentives.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012


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