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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Anna Grubert

Lagroix, H.E., Grubert, A., Spalek, T.M., Di Lollo, V. & Eimer, M. (2015). Visual search is postponed during the period of the AB: An event-related potential study. Psychophysiology 52(8): 1031-1038.

Author(s) from Durham


In the phenomenon known as the attentional blink (AB), perception of the second of two rapidly sequential targets (T2) is impaired when presented shortly after the first (T1). Studies in which T2 consisted of a pop-out search array provided evidence suggesting that visual search is postponed during the AB. In the present work, we used behavioral and electrophysiological measures to test this postponement hypothesis. The behavioral measure was reaction time (RT) to T2; the electrophysiological measure was the onset latency of an ERP index of attentional selection, known as the N2pc. Consistent with the postponement hypothesis, both measures were delayed during the AB. The delay in N2pc was substantially shorter than that in RT, pointing to multiple sources of delay in the chain of processing events, as distinct from the single source postulated in current theories of the AB. Finally, the finding that the N2pc was delayed during the AB strongly suggests that attention is involved in the processing of pop-out search arrays.