Goal-driven, stimulus-driven, and history-driven selection

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In this paper, I present a framework which considers three independent factors that drive attentional selection. In addition to goal-driven and stimulus-driven selection, I discuss how lingering biases of selection history play a major role in attentional selection. Visual statistical learning of the regularities in the environment forms the basis for this history-based selection which provides an elaborate and flexible attentional biasing mechanism above and beyond goal-driven and stimulus-driven factors. A selection based on experience and history is fast, automatic and occurs without much, if any, effort. I conclude that learning and extracting the distributional properties of the environment have a major impact on attentional selection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-101
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in psychology
Early online date7 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


This work was supported by an ERC advanced grant under grant number ERC-2012-AdG – 323413 awarded to Jan Theeuwes.

FundersFunder number
H2020 European Research CouncilERC-2012-AdG – 323413
Seventh Framework Programme323413


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