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Representational masking and the attentional blink

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After successful detection of a target item within a stream of rapidly displayed visual stimuli, subsequent detection of an additional target is impaired for roughly 500 ms. This impairment is known as the “attentional blink” (AB). Previous studies have found that if either the first (T1; Raymond, Shapiro, & Arnell, 1992) or second target (T2; Giesbrecht & Di Lollo, 1998) is not followed by a mask, the AB impairment is significantly reduced. Whereas low-level perceptual factors have been found to influence the efficacy of masking in the AB (e.g., Seiffert & Di Lollo, 1997), the current experiment used a higher level (representational) manipulation, i.e., repetition blindness to reduce the efficacy of target masking in the AB. These findings contribute to the growing literature suggesting that masking plays more than a perceptual role in the AB phenomenon.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Wales, Bangor, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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