August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Lag-1 sparing in accuracy and reaction time: The importance of masking
Author Affiliations
  • Hayley Lagroix
    Psychology, Simon Fraser University
  • Vincent Di Lollo
    Psychology, Simon Fraser University
  • Thomas Spalek
    Psychology, Simon Fraser University
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 595. doi:
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      Hayley Lagroix, Vincent Di Lollo, Thomas Spalek; Lag-1 sparing in accuracy and reaction time: The importance of masking. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):595. doi:

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

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Perception of the second of two rapidly sequential targets (T1, T2) is impaired when presented soon after the first (attentional blink; AB). In an exception, known as Lag-1 sparing, T2 performance is relatively unimpaired when it comes directly after T1. Lag-1 sparing is typically found when the dependent measure is T2 accuracy. In contrast, Lag-1 deficit is observed when the dependent measure is reaction time (RT; Lagroix, Di Lollo, & Spalek, 2015). A notable methodological difference between experiments that measured accuracy and those that measured RT was that T2 was followed by a mask in the former but not in the latter. In the present work, we demonstrate that Lag-1 sparing can be obtained with RT as the dependent measure, but only if T2 is followed by a mask. In contrast, when the dependent measure is T2 accuracy, Lag-1 sparing is in evidence whether or not T2 is masked. These results have implications beyond the phenomenon of Lag-1 sparing. They suggest that accuracy and RT are not always equivalent measures, and suggest that the AB may arise from postponement of T2 processing at more than one level within the system. This is inconsistent with extant theories in which the AB is said to occur at a single stage of processing.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016


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