September 2021
Volume 21, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2021
The Decisional Blink? Response criterion and the attentional blink paradigm.
Author Affiliations
  • Michael A. Grubb
    Trinity College (Hartford, CT)
  • Julia Francis
    Trinity College (Hartford, CT)
  • Raysa Leguizamon
    Trinity College (Hartford, CT)
  • Jack Miller
    Trinity College (Hartford, CT)
  • Kefei Wang
    Trinity College (Hartford, CT)
Journal of Vision September 2021, Vol.21, 2421. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Michael A. Grubb, Julia Francis, Raysa Leguizamon, Jack Miller, Kefei Wang; The Decisional Blink? Response criterion and the attentional blink paradigm.. Journal of Vision 2021;21(9):2421.

      Download citation file:

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

  • Supplements

The Attentional Blink (AB) is the impaired detection of a target in a stream of rapidly presented objects (T2) when it follows the presentation of another task-relevant object (T1) by ~200ms. This paradigm has been widely used to measure attentional control in diverse populations (eg, meditators, gamers). AB magnitude is typically assessed by computing the hit rate for T2 following correct T1 identifications. Thus, savvy observers could eliminate their AB by simply reporting that T2 is always present (ie, by employing an extremely liberal response criterion). Here, we use signal detection theory to measure the AB and show that AB magnitude is confounded by response criterion when calculated with hit rate only, the common analytical approach. 39 participants completed 160 test and controls trials of the AB paradigm. Test: participants reported the identity of T1 (a single white letter in a stream of black letters) and detected T2 (an X that was present or absent). Control: T1 was ignored and only the T2 detection judgment was reported. In both trial types, the temporal location of T2 was manipulated (8 Lags, 100-800ms). We replicated the classic AB effect: hit rates were reduced in test compared to control trials, reaching their lowest point at Lag 2. dʹ, which takes hits and false alarms into account, was also significantly reduced in test compared to control trials. Response criterion also differed between test and control trials, replicating the Neyman-Pearson objective. Finally, the degree to which criterion changed between control and test was strongly and negatively correlated with the magnitude of classic AB effect. If one’s goal is to compare the magnitude of the AB between groups or after an experimental intervention in a way that isolates perceptual factors from decisional ones, researchers are urged to abandon the currently widespread analytical approach.


This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.