July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
Revisiting the spread of sparing in attentional blink: Attentional selection or resource limitation?
Author Affiliations
  • Xi Chen
    Center for Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Department of Psychology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Xiaolin Zhou
    Center for Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Department of Psychology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China\nKey Laboratory of Machine Perception (Ministry of Education), Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 1191. doi:10.1167/13.9.1191
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      Xi Chen, Xiaolin Zhou; Revisiting the spread of sparing in attentional blink: Attentional selection or resource limitation?. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):1191. doi: 10.1167/13.9.1191.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

The attentional blink (AB) refers to the deficit in reporting the second of two targets (T2) in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream when this target is presented in less than 500 ms after the onset of the first one (T1). It is under debate whether the AB originates from a limitation of cognitive resources or a distractor-triggered attentional suppression. In this study, we put a distractor (Dinter) or an extra target (Tinter) between T1 and T2 while at the same time manipulated the time interval between Dinter (Tinter) and T2 (0, 200, 500 ms). The level of transient attentional enhancement induced by the detection of T1 was also manipulated by adding external noise to T1. Results showed that, compared with the dual-target condition, T2 performance was better in the consecutive-target condition when T2 was close in time (0 ms) to Tinter or Dinter (i.e., the spread of sparing), but was worse when the interval between T2 and the preceding item was longer. Adding external noise to T1 improved T2 performance when T2 was close in time to the preceding item, irrespective of whether this item was Dinter or Tinter. These findings are better interpreted with an extended resource account according to which AB occurs due to the limitation of attentional resources but a chunking process can be utilized to improve target performance.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013

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