Marois Rene
Last active: 4/10/2017

Both exogenous and endogenous target salience manipulations support resource depletion accounts of the attentional blink: A reply to Olivers et al.

Dux PE, Asplund CL, Marois R
Psychon Bull Rev. 2009 16 (1): 219-224

PMID: 19543438 · PMCID: PMC2699278 · DOI:10.3758/PBR.16.1.219

Input-control theories of the attentional blink (AB) suggest that this deficit results from impaired attentional selection caused by the post-Target 1 (T1) distractor (Di Lollo et al., 2005; Olivers et al., 2007). Accordingly, there should be no AB when there are no intervening distractors between the targets. Contrary to these hypotheses, Dux et al. (2008) observed an AB (T3 deficit) when three targets, from the same attentional set, were presented successively in a rapid stream of distractors if subjects increased the resources devoted to T1 processing, a result consistent with resource depletion accounts of the AB. However, Olivers et al. (this issue) argue that Dux et al.'s results can be better explained by the relationship between T1 and T2 rather than between T1 and T3, and by target discriminability effects. Here, we find that manipulating the resources subjects devote to T1, either exogenously (target perceptual salience) or endogenously (target task-relevance), affects T3 performance even when controlling for T2 and target discriminability differences. These results support Dux et al.'s conclusion that T1 resource depletion underlies the AB.

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