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Markus Conci, Qi-Yang Nie, Hermann Müller, Siyi Chen; Kanizsa-figure object completion determines attentional selection in time: Evidence from the attentional blink. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):1114. https://doi.org/10.1167/18.10.1114.
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Previous work has demonstrated that perceptual grouping modulates the selectivity of attention across space. However, how grouping influences the allocation of attention over time is much less clear. The current study investigated this issue, using an attentional blink (AB) paradigm with Kanizsa figure configurations that systematically varied the strength of grouping, thus permitting the effects of object integration upon initial selection and subsequent short-term memory consolidation of a target to be determined. On a given trial, two red Kanizsa-type targets (T1, T2) were embedded in a rapid serial visual presentation stream of irrelevant distractors. We observed the typical AB phenomenon: impaired identification of T2 when presented close in time after T1. Moreover, the AB was modulated by T2 grouping, with stronger grouping resulting in a reduced AB and higher performance overall. This influence of grouping was independent of the perceptual organization of T1 (grouped or ungrouped). By contrast, an opposite pattern – of an increased AB with increasing grouping strength – was obtained when the Kanizsa figure was not task-relevant. Together, these findings suggest that the grouping benefit emerges at early perceptual stages, automatically drawing attentional resources, thereby leading to either sustained benefits or transient costs – depending on the task-relevance of the grouped object. This indicates that grouping modulates processing of objects in time.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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