Learning to attend: Measuring sequential effects of feedback in overt visual attention during category learning
Remick, Olga V.
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Trial-level evidence for feedback sensitivity in fixations during category learning has been previously described as weak. In this dissertation, steps were taken to overcome some methodological issues potentially obscuring the evidence for such sensitivity. Jointly, the three experiments reported here suggest that sensitivity to error in visual attention reflects cue competition, as opposed to error-driven learning of a selective visual profile. These outcomes are in agreement with previous research in human vision, which holds that fixations reflect the agent’s task representation. A case is made for the top-down control of visual attention during category learning, manifested as effects of prior knowledge, long-standing expectations, decisional uncertainty, and vacillations between alternative sources of conflicting evidence. A suggestion is made that the time-based measures of visual attention may align with the continuous ratings of the perceived category membership (reflecting learner confidence).