September 2017
Volume 17, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2017
Is the emotional blink just an attentional blink in disguise?
Author Affiliations
  • Alyssa Lompado
    Psychological & Brain Sciences, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Delaware
  • Daniel Charytonowicz
    Psychological & Brain Sciences, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Delaware
  • Kaitlyn Naismyth
    Psychological & Brain Sciences, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Delaware
  • James Hoffman
    Psychological & Brain Sciences, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Delaware
Journal of Vision August 2017, Vol.17, 1191. doi:10.1167/17.10.1191
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      Alyssa Lompado, Daniel Charytonowicz, Kaitlyn Naismyth, James Hoffman; Is the emotional blink just an attentional blink in disguise?. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):1191. doi: 10.1167/17.10.1191.

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

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Abstract

Emotionally charged stimuli rapidly capture our attention even when we are deeply engrossed in other activities. For example, when people are searching for a target picture in a rapidly presented stream of scene pictures, they often fail to detect it when it is preceded by a task-irrelevant negative emotional picture, a phenomenon known as "emotion-induced blindness" or EIB (Most, Chun, Widders, & Zald, 2005). This phenomenon appears to be similar to the attentional blink (AB) in which two task-relevant targets appear close in time. The first target is virtually always detected while the second one is often missed if it closely follows the first. One theory of AB holds that targets compete for access to a limited-capacity bottleneck process that stores targets in working memory, This account is supported by the finding that the P300 component which may reflect consolidation into working memory is suppressed and/or delayed for a target appearing shortly after another target. Kennedy, Rawding, Most, and Hoffman (2014) reported a similar result for EIB suggesting that AB and EIB may result from the same mechanism. However, Kennedy and Most (2015) recently reported a result that might challenge this conclusion. They found that lag 1 sparing does not occur in EIB even though it is often observed for AB, which could point to an important difference between them. We directly compared EIB and AB for the case of lag 1 sparing using very similar stimuli. In addition, we recorded ERPs in both paradigms to provide additional evidence on potential differences in the suppression mechanism. We found that lag 1 sparing was absent in both paradigms and that ERP measures of this suppression were remarkably similar, suggesting that the emotional blink may just be an attentional blink in disguise.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017

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