Kryklywy, Todd (2018) Experiential History as a Tuning Parameter for Attention Journal of cognition 1(1) 24
[Peer commentary on "Visual selection: usually fast and automatic; seldom slow and volitional," by J. Theeuwes]. Journal of Cognition. In his current opinion piece, Theeuwes emphasizes the role of selection history as a third source of attentional selection, beyond top-down and bottom-up mechanisms, thus challenging traditional dual-process models of attention. While we agree that selection history impacts the allocation of attention, our own work suggests that this terminology may be too restrictive, and propose the simple term history as a better reflection of the impact of learning on our selection biases. Furthermore, we propose that the role of selection/experiential history on attention may not be as a unique third source of attentional selection, but rather as a tuning parameter, allowing certain categories of item to be endowed with greater task-based or feature-driven salience in a context and history dependent manner. This conceptualization presents an alternative to abandoning dual-process models of attention altogether. Rather, we can reimagine how task-based and feature-driven processes may be controlled by past experience in a dynamic and adaptable system.