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Elwyn W. Martin, Kimron L. Shapiro; The role of T1 masking at short lags in the attentional blink. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):114. doi: 10.1167/5.8.114.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The Attentional Blink (AB) paradigm demonstrates that when instructed to detect two targets presented in a rapid visual stimuli stream, the second target (T2) is often undetected if presented 200–500 ms post onset of the first target (T1). However, if T2 is presented immediately after T1, in the conventional lag-1 position (100 ms stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA)), no performance deficit occurs. This finding, called Lag-1 Sparing, is believed to occur when T1 and T2 are encoded as parts of the same perceptual episode. The presence of a mask between T1 and T2 appears to be crucial for producing T2 deficits; a condition not met when T2 appears in the lag-1 position. Here we examine the role of T1 masking for Lag-1 Sparing. Our results indicate that inserting a T1 mask during the typically uninterrupted SOA between T1 and T2 prevents Lag-1 Sparing. Furthermore, interrupted presentation of successive targets lowers T2 performance across all lag positions. Results suggest that Lag-1 Sparing does not simply occur because T1 and T2 appear in close temporal proximity. Rather, Lag-1 Sparing requires an absence of intervening distracter information.
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