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Value-driven attentional capture enhances distractor representations in early visual cortex

dc.contributor.authorItthipuripat, Sirawaj
dc.contributor.authorSprague, Thomas C.
dc.contributor.authorSerences, John T.
dc.identifier.citationItthipuripat, S., Vo, V. A., Sprague, T. C., & Serences, J. T. (2019). Value-driven attentional capture enhances distractor representations in early visual cortex. PLoS biology, 17(8), e3000186.
dc.description.abstractWhen a behaviorally relevant stimulus has been previously associated with reward, behavioral responses are faster and more accurate compared to equally relevant but less valuable stimuli. Conversely, task-irrelevant stimuli that were previously associated with a high reward can capture attention and distract processing away from relevant stimuli (e.g., seeing a chocolate bar in the pantry when you are looking for a nice, healthy apple). Although increasing the value of task-relevant stimuli systematically up-regulates neural responses in early visual cortex to facilitate information processing, it is not clear whether the value of task-irrelevant distractors influences behavior via competition in early visual cortex or via competition at later stages of decision-making and response selection. Here, we measured functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in human visual cortex while subjects performed a value-based learning task, and we applied a multivariate inverted encoding model (IEM) to assess the fidelity of distractor representations in early visual cortex. We found that the fidelity of neural representations related to task-irrelevant distractors increased when the distractors were previously associated with a high reward. This finding suggests that value-driven attentional capture begins with sensory modulations of distractor representations in early areas of visual cortex.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipThis study was supported by NEI R01-EY025872 to JTS (, a James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award to JTS (, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute International student fellowship to SI (, a Royal Thai Scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Technology Thailand to SI (https://most. go. th/main/en), NSF GRFP to VAV (, and NEI F32-EY028438 to TCS ( funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.en_US
dc.publisherPLOS Biologyen_US
dc.rightsCopyright © 2019 Itthipuripat et al This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
dc.titleValue-driven attentional capture enhances distractor representations in early visual cortexen_US

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