Behavioral and physiological encoding of value and validity in the visual cortex of the macaque
Thuen, Adam James
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Spatial attention and reward research in most humans and all animal models have inherent value and validity associated with task-relevant stimuli. To date, these variables have been investigation in isolation. Assumptions are made with the respect to the dissociability of value and validity effects on task performance and neural activity. Using a novel behavioral task, we varied value and validity within the same experiment in attempt to dissociate their effects on visual processing. Our results indicate that the assumption of dissociability between value and validity effects used to characterize attention and reward modulations is not a safe one to make. Researchers must consider complex interactions between these two variable quantities when investigating attention using incentives and while investigating incentive effects when attention is freely deployable.