December 2007
Volume 7, Issue 15
OSA Fall Vision Meeting Abstract  |   December 2007
Attentional blinks as errors in temporal binding
Author Affiliations
  • Ariella Popple
    Optometry, UC Berkeley
  • Dennis Levi
    School of Optometry, UC Berkeley
Journal of Vision December 2007, Vol.7, 96. doi:
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      Ariella Popple, Dennis Levi; Attentional blinks as errors in temporal binding. Journal of Vision 2007;7(15):96. doi:

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

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In the attentional blink, the second of two targets in a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) stream is difficult to detect and identify when it is presented soon but not immediately after the first target. We varied the Stimulus Onset Asynchrony (SOA) of the items in the stream and the color of the targets (red from gray or vice versa), and looked at the responses to the second target. Exact responses to the second target (zero positional error) showed a typical attentional blink profile, with a drop in performance for an interval of 200–500 ms after the first target. Approximate responses (positional error no greater than 3 frames) showed no such drop in performance, although results were still dependent on color (better for red) and increased with increasing SOA. These findings are consistent with a 2-stage model of visual working memory, where encoding of the first target disrupts attention to (and temporal binding of) the second target. We suggest that this disruption occurs within a certain time (≈ 0.5 s) after the first target, during which period salient distractors are as likely as the second target to enter working memory.

Popple, A. Levi, D. (2007). Attentional blinks as errors in temporal binding [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 7(15):96, 96a,, doi:10.1167/7.15.96. [CrossRef]

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