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Nan Qin, Ruolei Gu, Jingming Xue, Chuansheng Chen, Mingxia Zhang; Reward-driven attention alters perceived salience. Journal of Vision 2021;21(1):7. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.1.7.
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Many studies have revealed that reward-associated features capture attention. Neurophysiological evidence further suggests that this reward-driven attention effect modulates visual processes by enhancing low-level visual salience. However, no behavioral study to date has directly examined whether reward-driven attention changes how people see. Combining the two-phase paradigm with a psychophysical method, the current study found that compared with nonsalient cues associated with lower reward, the nonsalient cues associated with higher reward captured more attention, and increased the perceived contrast of the subsequent stimuli. This is the first direct behavioral evidence of the effect of reward-driven attention on low-level visual perception.
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