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Deborah Hanus, Edward Vul, Nancy Kanwisher; Delay of selective attention during the attentional blink. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):6. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/8.6.6.
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The attentional blink refers to the inability to report the second of two targets in an RSVP stream when they are separated by 200–500 msec. Recent evidence shows that this failure results from three dissociable changes to the properties of temporal selective attention. During the attentional blink, selection is suppressed (items are selected less effectively, resulting in greater levels of random guessing) and delayed (the items that are selected tend to be later in the RSVP stream relative to the cue) (Vul, Nieuwenstein, Kanwisher, in press). Here we assess the properties of the delay in selection and evaluate how the delay contributes to the attentional blink. First, by pre-cueing, we manipulate the delay of selective attention and show that neither delay nor suppression alone is sufficient to account for the failure to report the second target; thus both play a role in the usual attentional blink. Second, we explore the persistence of the delay effect over much longer T1–T2 SOAs and show that the effect remains strong at lags of 1400 msec and appears to subside with a time-constant of roughly 500 msec. Third, we manipulate RSVP rate and measure delay as a function of serial position and delay as a function of time - we find that across RSVP rates, delay at a fixed SOA is constant as a function of time and variable as a function of serial position, indicating that the “delay” of selection is a delay in time.
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