A Quick Mind with Letters Can Be a Slow Mind with Natural Scenes: Individual Differences in Attentional Selection
Author(s)Martens, Sander; Dun, Mathijs; Wyble, Brad; Potter, Mary C.
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Background Most people show a remarkable deficit in reporting the second of two targets (T2) when presented 200–500 ms after the first (T1), reflecting an ‘attentional blink’ (AB). However, there are large individual differences in the magnitude of the effect, with some people, referred to as ‘non-blinkers’, showing no such attentional restrictions. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we replicate these individual differences in a task requiring identification of two letters amongst digits, and show that the observed differences in T2 performance cannot be attributed to individual differences in T1 performance. In a second experiment, the generality of the non-blinkers' superior performance was tested using a task containing novel pictures rather than alphanumeric stimuli. A substantial AB was obtained in non-blinkers that was equivalent to that of ‘blinkers’. Conclusion/Significance The results suggest that non-blinkers employ an efficient target selection strategy that relies on well-learned alphabetic and numeric category sets.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Public Library of Science
Martens, Sander, Mathijs Dun, Brad Wyble, and Mary C. Potter "A Quick Mind with Letters Can Be a Slow Mind with Natural Scenes: Individual Differences in Attentional Selection." PLoS ONE 5(10): e13562.
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