— Motivated Cognition Lab

Damiano’s first paper accepted in JEP:HPP!

Damiano is a published scientist!

Grignolio, D., Acunzo, D., & Hickey, C. (in press). Object-based attention is accentuated by object reward association. Journal of Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. <link>

Humans use selective attention to prioritize visual features, like color or shape, as well as discrete spatial locations, and these effects are sensitive to the experience of reward. Reward-associated features and locations are accordingly prioritized from early in the visual hierarchy. Attention is also sensitive to the establishment of visual objects: selection of one constituent object part often leads to prioritization of other locations on that object. But very little is known about the influence of reward on this object-based control of attention. Here we show in 4 experiments that reward prioritization and object prioritization interact in visual cognition to guide selection. Experiment 1 establishes groundwork for this investigation, showing that reward feedback does not negate object prioritization. In Experiment 2, we corroborate the hypothesis that reward prioritization and object prioritization emerge concurrently. In Experiment 3, we find that reward prioritization and object prioritization sustain and interact in extinction, when reward feedback is discontinued. We verify this interaction in Experiment 4, linking it to task experience rather than the strategic utility of the reward association. Results suggest that information gathered from locations on reward-associated objects gains preferential access to cognition.