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Carly J. Leonard, Steven J. Luck; The attentional blink impairs saccade production. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):258. doi: 10.1167/11.11.258.
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When two targets occur in rapid succession, task-related processing of the first target often causes a marked impairment on task performance for the second target. This phenomenon is known as the attentional blink. Previous research has suggested that when the targets are in different spatial locations, this deficit is partially explained by a delay in the ability to covertly shift attention to the second target (T2) location after the first target (T1) is detected. The current work investigates how the attentional blink influences the overt allocation of attention by measuring saccadic eye movements. Our task required that participants first detect T1 in a central stream of letters and then make a saccadic eye movement to a peripheral T2 target. A control condition in which the T1 target was present but irrelevant was also included. Critically, the results showed that saccadic latency relative to the appearance of the T2 target was significantly delayed when the lag between the T1 and T2 targets was short. However, this period of impaired performance was considerably shorter than the typical attentional blink, suggesting that the slowing of eye movements solely reflects the spatial attention component of the blink.
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