Learned value is known to bias visual search toward valued stimuli. However, some uncertainty exists regarding the stage of visual processing that is modulated by learned value. Here, we directly tested the effect of learned value on preattentive processing using temporal order judgments. Across four experiments, we imbued some stimuli with high value and some with low value, using a nonmonetary reward task. In Experiment 1, we replicated the value-driven distraction effect, validating our nonmonetary reward task. Experiment 2 showed that high-value stimuli, but not low-value stimuli, exhibit a prior-entry effect. Experiment 3, which reversed the temporal order judgment task (i.e., reporting which stimulus came second), showed no prior-entry effect, indicating that although a response bias may be present for high-value stimuli, they are still reported as appearing earlier. However, Experiment 4, using a simultaneity judgment task, showed no shift in temporal perception. Overall, our results support the conclusion that learned value biases perceptual decisions about valued stimuli without speeding preattentive stimulus processing.
|Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics
|Early online date
|28 Nov 2016
|Published - 1 Feb 2017