abstract Clayton Hickey

Clayton Hickey (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Some ways that experience determines your perceptual environment: Effects of reward on multisensory integration and naturalistic visual search.

Neuroscientific theories of learning suggest that reward guides behaviour in part by automatically facilitating the processing of reward-associated environmental stimuli. In this talk I will present data from two ongoing projects that investigate the impact this mechanism has on human perception and attention. The first project explores the role of reward in multimodal sensory integration. Results show that reward-associated visual stimuli more strongly capture sound to their location. The second project investigates the impact of reward on visual search in cluttered natural scenes. Results show that search for a cued category of real-world stimuli is disrupted when scenes contain examples of distractor categories that have been recently associated with reward. Preliminary fMRI neuroimaging suggests that this reward-priming of category representation can be indexed in multivoxel patterns in ventral visual cortex. These results add to a growing body of work demonstrating that the quality of prior experience plays an important role in determining how we perceive environmental stimuli.