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Gillian Dale, Ryan Young, Karen Arnell; That's my name, don't wear it out: Attentional blink and the cocktail party effect. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):3. doi: 10.1167/8.6.3.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
When individuals are asked to identify two targets in an RSVP task, accuracy on the second target (T2) is reduced if presented shortly after the first target (T1) — an attentional blink (AB). Previous research has shown that sexual words can increase the magnitude of the AB when presented as T1, set off an AB as a distractor, and can overcome the AB when presented as T2. When an individual's name is presented, it too can set off an AB as a distractor, and overcome the AB when presented as T2, but one study has shown that the AB is not affected when a person's name is presented as T1 (Shapiro et al., 1997). As sexual words and personal names are especially salient stimuli, it is surprising that own names do not create a larger AB when presented as T1. To examine this, we used an AB task where we presented own names, other names, or nouns as T1, and neutral colour names as T2. The AB was significantly increased for own names as compared to other names and nouns, but only for the first 15 presentations of the name. For each participant there is only one own name, yet sets of over 20 sexual words have been used in previous studies. Therefore, sexual words may be able to show effects over 20 times more trials than own names. Indeed, when we examined the impact of own names presented as T1 to a single sexual word presented as T1, the AB magnitude and the number of trials before the effects disappeared were comparable. We conclude that own names are salient stimuli and increase the AB when presented as T1, but that this effect rapidly disappears due to the fact that only one stimulus can be used in the own name condition.
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