The 59th Annual Nebraska Symposium on Motivation (The Influence of Attention, Learning, and Motivation on Visual Search) took place April 7-8, 2011, on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. The symposium brought together leading scholars who conduct research related to visual search at a variety levels for a series of talks, poster presentations, panel discussions, and numerous additional opportunities for intellectual exchange. The Symposium was also streamed online for the first time in the history of the event, allowing individuals from around the world to view the presentations and submit questions. The present volume is intended to both commemorate the event itself and to allow our speakers additional opportunity to address issues and current research that have since arisen. Each of the speakers (and, in some cases, their graduate students and post docs) has provided a chapter which both summarizes and expands on their original presentations. In this chapter, we sought to a) provide additional context as to how the Symposium came to be, b) discuss why we thought that this was an ideal time to organize a visual search symposium, and c) to briefly address recent trends and potential future directions in the field. We hope you find the volume both enjoyable and informative, and we thank the authors who have contributed a series of engaging chapters.