August 2023
Volume 23, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2023
Do fewer salient events modulate the emotional attentional blink?
Author Affiliations
  • Lindsay A. Santacroce
    University of Houston
  • Benjamin J. Tamber-Rosenau
    University of Houston
Journal of Vision August 2023, Vol.23, 5743. doi:
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      Lindsay A. Santacroce, Benjamin J. Tamber-Rosenau; Do fewer salient events modulate the emotional attentional blink?. Journal of Vision 2023;23(9):5743.

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

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Title: Do fewer salient events modulate the emotional attentional blink? In the emotional attentional blink (EAB; also termed emotion-induced blindness), a single target in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream of fillers is difficult to report when it is preceded by a task-irrelevant emotional distractor, indicating temporal attentional capture by emotion. However, recent research has shown that the EAB is weaker than the goal-driven attentional blink, which is surprising because stimulus-driven attention can often exert strong, if transient, effects outside of RSVP. It is possible that emotion appears to be a weak driver of stimulus-driven attentional capture in the EAB as a result of the dynamic nature of RSVP: with each item in the stream constantly being replaced by an immediately following item, the classic EAB paradigm is essentially a series of abrupt onsets which are generally known to be strong drivers of attentional capture. To select only targets under such demanding conditions, participants might broadly suppress salience-driven attention in order to enhance goal-driven attentional control, thus suppressing the valence of the emotional distractor. The current study tested this speculative account by reducing the need to suppress abrupt onsets in the EAB. Specifically, in two experiments (one using image stimuli and one using word stimuli), a novel “skeletal” EAB paradigm with most filler items removed (as previously used in some two-target attentional blink studies) was compared to the typical EAB paradigm, all within the same participants. Contrary to predictions, similar EABs were observed in skeletal and RSVP paradigms. This suggests that reducing the number of highly salient events in an EAB paradigm did not affect the temporal attentional capture evoked by emotional distractors.


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