How Does Information Processing Speed Relate to the Attentional Blink?

Visser, Troy A. W. & Ohan, Jeneva L. (2012) How Does Information Processing Speed Relate to the Attentional Blink? PLoS ONE, 7(3), e33265.

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Background When observers are asked to identify two targets in rapid sequence, they often suffer profound performance deficits for the second target, even when the spatial location of the targets is known. This attentional blink (AB) is usually attributed to the time required to process a previous target, implying that a link should exist between individual differences in information processing speed and the AB. Methodology/Principal Findings The present work investigated this question by examining the relationship between a rapid automatized naming task typically used to assess information-processing speed and the magnitude of the AB. The results indicated that faster processing actually resulted in a greater AB, but only when targets were presented amongst high similarity distractors. When target-distractor similarity was minimal, processing speed was unrelated to the AB. Conclusions/Significance Our findings indicate that information-processing speed is unrelated to target processing efficiency per se, but rather to individual differences in observers' ability to suppress distractors. This is consistent with evidence that individuals who are able to avoid distraction are more efficient at deploying temporal attention, but argues against a direct link between general processing speed and efficient information selection.

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6 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 49659
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033265
ISSN: 1932-6203
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright Visser, Ohan.
Copyright Statement: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Deposited On: 12 Apr 2012 06:05
Last Modified: 16 May 2013 21:55

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