Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Traditionally, the allocation of attention was understood within goal-driven and stimulus-driven factors. However, the traditional approach cannot fully account for the mechanism of attentional orienting. Instead, a growing body of evidence shows that previous search experiences, irrelevant to both goal-driven and stimulus-driven factors, influence attentional allocation. For example, when contexts predict information of targets, the contexts guide attention toward the stimuli having the information predicted by the contexts: contextual cueing. In addition, more valuable stimuli attract more attention: value-driven attentional capture. However, two critical issues are present. First, contextual cueing has been found largely when the contexts and the target information predicted by the contexts are in the spatial dimension. Second, it is unclear how the values of the items are determined to guide attention. Accordingly, the dissertation investigates these issues to further understand the mechanism of attentional allocation beyond the traditional perspective. The results of the dissertation suggest that more attention is required for non-spatial context-driven search than spatial context-driven search and that value-driven attention is on the basis of prospect theory. In conclusion, the dissertation further clarifies the mechanism by which previous experiences affect the allocation of attention.



Committee Chair

Beck, Melissa