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Target-target similarity and the attentional blink: Task-relevance matters!

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Studies of the attentional blink (AB) indicate that similarity modulates the magnitude of the impairment in reporting the second of two masked targets. The present experiments tested whether similarity-based modulations of the AB are determined by all object dimensions or by task-relevant dimensions only. Similarity between target faces was manipulated on two dimensions, only one of which was task relevant. The results indicated that similarity on the task-relevant dimension modulated the AB, whereas similarity on task-irrelevant dimension did not. These results suggest that selection during the AB can occur on the level of task-relevant dimensions.
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Keywords: Attentional blink; Emotion; Faces; Relevance; Similarity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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