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Approach and Avoidance Task Demo Videos

Differential deployment of visual attention during interactive approach and avoidance behavior


The ability to coordinate approach and avoidance actions in dynamic environments represents the boundary between extinction and the continued survival of many species. 
It is therefore crucial that the visual system selectively allocates its limited attentional resources to the correct information to facilitate the planning and execution of these actions.

In two Experiments, we combined electroencephalography (EEG), frequency tagging and eye gaze to investigate whether the deployment of visual selective attention differs for items relevant for approach and avoidance actions. 


Concurrent Approach and Avoidance Task

This is an example trial from the concurrent approach and avoidance task. In this trial, participants used a cursor (the white square) to approach the red squares while avoiding the blue squares. 
Squares of each color flickered at unique frequencies so that the neural responses, steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs), to the approached, avoided and irrelevant squares could be concurrently and continuously recovered from the EEG recordings.



Separate Approach and Avoidance Task: Approach Trial

This is an example trial from the separate approach and avoidance task. In this trial, participants used a cursor (the white square) to approach both the red and green squares. 
The behavioral priority of the two approach tasks was manipulated such that contact with the red squares was rewarded with twice as many points as contact with the green squares. 
Squares of each color flickered at unique frequencies so that the neural responses, steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs), to high priority approached, low priority approached and irrelevant squares could be concurrently and continuously recovered from the EEG recordings.



Separate Approach and Avoidance Task: Avoidance Trial

This is an example trial from the separate approach and avoidance task. In this trial, participants used a cursor (the white square) to avoid both the red and green squares. 
The behavioral priority of the two avoidance tasks was manipulated such that contact with the red squares was punished with twice the point deduction as contact with the green squares. 
Squares of each color flickered at unique frequencies so that the neural responses, steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs), to high priority avoided, low priority avoided and irrelevant squares could be concurrently and continuously recovered from the EEG recordings.