© 2018, The Psychonomic Society, Inc. Despite being physically nonsalient and task-irrelevant, objects rendered in a color that once signaled monetary reward reflexively capture attention during visual search, a phenomenon known as value-driven attentional capture (VDAC). However, it remains a subject of empirical controversy whether learned reward associations are necessary to driving subsequent attentional capture: VDAC-like effects have been observed when accuracy-based feedback alone was used during the VDAC training phase, resulting in attentional capture by objects that were never associated with monetary reward; perplexingly, the presence of these VDAC-like effects in the literature conflicts with those of a number of control studies in which no such capture has been observed, leaving the issue currently unresolved. In this Registered Report, we present new empirical evidence of attentional capture by unrewarded former targets following limited accuracy-based training. We proposed to replicate these results in an independent sample and to test an empirically derived hypothesis concerning a methodological difference between the studies that have shown VDAC-like effects with accuracy-based feedback and those that have not. In short, we found no evidence that this methodological difference accounts for the inconsistencies in the literature, but our replication efforts were overwhelmingly successful, thus reinvigorating debate about the role that selection history may play in value-driven attentional capture.
Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Open Access publication