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Charlotte Willems, Atser Damsma, Stefan Wierda, Niels Taatgen, Sander Martens; Training-induced Changes in the Dynamics of Attention as Reflected in Pupil Dilation. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1241. doi: 10.1167/15.12.1241.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
One of the major topics in attention literature is the attentional blink (AB), which demonstrates a limited ability to identify the second of two targets (T1 and T2) when presented in close temporal succession (200-500 msec). Given that the effect has been thought of as robust and resistant to training for over two decades, one of the most remarkable findings in recent years is that the AB can be eliminated after a one-hour training with a color-salient T2. However, the underlying mechanism of the training effect as well as the AB itself is as of yet still poorly understood. To elucidate this training effect, we employed a refined version of our recently developed pupil dilation deconvolution method to track any training-induced changes in the amount and onset of attentional processing in response to target stimuli. Behaviorally, we replicated the original training effect with a color-salient T2. However, we showed that training without a salient target, but with a consistent short target interval is already sufficient to attenuate the AB. Pupil deconvolution did not reveal any posttraining changes in T2-related dilation, but instead an earlier onset of dilation around T1. Moreover, normalized pupil dilation was enhanced posttraining compared to pretraining. We conclude that the AB can be eliminated by training without a salient cue. Furthermore, our data point to the existence of temporal expectations at the time points of the trained targets posttraining. Therefore, we tentatively conclude that temporal expectations arise as a result of training.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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