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Hee-Young Choo, Min-Shik Kim; Spatial selection either improves or impairs temporal selection in a RSVP task. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):1017. doi: 10.1167/6.6.1017.
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The detection or identification of the second of two targets in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task is often impaired—a phenomenon known as attentional blink (AB). Several researchers have demonstrated that spatial and temporal selection impairs each other (Jiang & Chun, 2001; Marois, Chun, & Gore, 2000). We examined how spatial and temporal selection interact using a RSVP task with or without spatial-distractors in different attentional control settings (ACS): Compatible, Incompatible, and Neutral ACS. In this study, participants should report two targets from temporal-distractors while ignoring spatial-distractors. In the compatible ACS condition, spatial-distractors shared either the category (Experiment 1–3) or the features (Experiment 4) of temporal-distractors instructed to ignore. In the incompatible ACS condition, spatial-distractors either shared the category or the features of targets instructed to select. In the neutral ACS condition, spatial-distractors neither matched the targets nor the temporal-distractors. The magnitudes of the AB in trials with spatial-distractors (with-distractor condition) and in trials without spatial-distractors (without-distractor condition) were compared to estimate the effects of spatial selection on temporal selection. In the incompatible ACS condition, a larger AB was produced in the with-distractor condition than the without-distractor condition. In the compatible ACS condition, on the contrary, a smaller AB was observed in the with-distractor condition than the without-distractor condition. In the neutral ACS condition, no difference was observed between the two distractor conditions. This study suggests that whether temporal selection is improved or impaired by spatial selection depends on the compatibility of their ACS.
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