Masking of a first target in the attentional blink attenuates the P3 to the first target and delays the P3 to the second target.

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    • Abstract:
      The attentional blink ( AB) refers to the decline in report accuracy of a second target ( T2) when presented shortly after a first target ( T1) in a rapid serial visual presentation ( RSVP) of distractors. It is known that masking T1 increases the magnitude of the AB, and masking a single target (equivalent to T1) in a RSVP stream attenuates the P3 to the target in correct trials. The major purpose of the present study was to clarify how these two effects may be integrated. An intervening distractor was presented at lag 1 ( T1+1), at lag 2 ( T1+2), or at neither of these two lags (no distractor). T2 was always presented at lag 3, as the last item in the stream. The P3 to T1 was attenuated and the P3 to T2 delayed in the T1+1 condition compared to the two other distractor conditions. These results clearly show that masking T1 attenuates the P3 to T1 and delays the P3 to T2 in the AB. Implications for extant theories of the AB are discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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