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Consciousness of targets during the attentional blink: a gradual or all-or-none dimension?

Nieuwenhuis S, de Kleijn R - Atten Percept Psychophys (2011)

Bottom Line: They found that these words were either detected as well as targets outside the attentional-blink period or not detected at all, and interpreted these results as support for a discontinuous transition between nonconscious and conscious processing.We present results from 4 attentional-blink experiments showing that this all-or-none rating pattern disappears with the use of an alternative measure of consciousness (post-decision wagering) and a more difficult identification task.These results are more consistent with models that assume a gradual change between nonconscious and conscious perception during the attentional blink.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Psychology, Cognitive Psychology Unit, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333, AK Leiden, The Netherlands. snieuwenhuis@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

ABSTRACT
Models of consciousness differ in whether they predict a gradual change or a discontinuous transition between nonconscious and conscious perception. Sergent and Dehaene (Psychological Science, 15, 720-728, 2004) asked subjects to rate on a continuous scale the subjective visibility of target words presented during an attentional blink. They found that these words were either detected as well as targets outside the attentional-blink period or not detected at all, and interpreted these results as support for a discontinuous transition between nonconscious and conscious processing. We present results from 4 attentional-blink experiments showing that this all-or-none rating pattern disappears with the use of an alternative measure of consciousness (post-decision wagering) and a more difficult identification task. Instead, under these circumstances, subjects used the consciousness rating scales in a continuous fashion. These results are more consistent with models that assume a gradual change between nonconscious and conscious perception during the attentional blink.

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Left Mean subjective visibility of T2 as a function of T1–T2 lag and T2 presence in Experiments 1 and 3. Right Mean wagers on the presence or absence of T2 as a function of T1–T2 lag and factual T2 presence in Experiments 2 and 4
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Fig1: Left Mean subjective visibility of T2 as a function of T1–T2 lag and T2 presence in Experiments 1 and 3. Right Mean wagers on the presence or absence of T2 as a function of T1–T2 lag and factual T2 presence in Experiments 2 and 4

Mentions: One participant who rated “not seen” in all trials was discarded from further analyses. Trials with an incorrect response to T1 (M  =  14.6%) were discarded. A Greenhouse-Geisser correction was applied where appropriate. An analysis of variance showed a significant effect of lag on mean visibility ratings in T2-present trials, F(5, 50)  =  7.0, p  =  .009. Mean visibility ratings dropped from 77% at lag 1 to 65% at lag 2, then increased to 83% at lag 6, indicating a typical attentional blink (Fig. 1). In T2-absent trials, mean visibility ratings were very low and unaffected by lag.Fig. 1


Consciousness of targets during the attentional blink: a gradual or all-or-none dimension?

Nieuwenhuis S, de Kleijn R - Atten Percept Psychophys (2011)

Left Mean subjective visibility of T2 as a function of T1–T2 lag and T2 presence in Experiments 1 and 3. Right Mean wagers on the presence or absence of T2 as a function of T1–T2 lag and factual T2 presence in Experiments 2 and 4
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3037489&req=5

Fig1: Left Mean subjective visibility of T2 as a function of T1–T2 lag and T2 presence in Experiments 1 and 3. Right Mean wagers on the presence or absence of T2 as a function of T1–T2 lag and factual T2 presence in Experiments 2 and 4
Mentions: One participant who rated “not seen” in all trials was discarded from further analyses. Trials with an incorrect response to T1 (M  =  14.6%) were discarded. A Greenhouse-Geisser correction was applied where appropriate. An analysis of variance showed a significant effect of lag on mean visibility ratings in T2-present trials, F(5, 50)  =  7.0, p  =  .009. Mean visibility ratings dropped from 77% at lag 1 to 65% at lag 2, then increased to 83% at lag 6, indicating a typical attentional blink (Fig. 1). In T2-absent trials, mean visibility ratings were very low and unaffected by lag.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: They found that these words were either detected as well as targets outside the attentional-blink period or not detected at all, and interpreted these results as support for a discontinuous transition between nonconscious and conscious processing.We present results from 4 attentional-blink experiments showing that this all-or-none rating pattern disappears with the use of an alternative measure of consciousness (post-decision wagering) and a more difficult identification task.These results are more consistent with models that assume a gradual change between nonconscious and conscious perception during the attentional blink.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Psychology, Cognitive Psychology Unit, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333, AK Leiden, The Netherlands. snieuwenhuis@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

ABSTRACT
Models of consciousness differ in whether they predict a gradual change or a discontinuous transition between nonconscious and conscious perception. Sergent and Dehaene (Psychological Science, 15, 720-728, 2004) asked subjects to rate on a continuous scale the subjective visibility of target words presented during an attentional blink. They found that these words were either detected as well as targets outside the attentional-blink period or not detected at all, and interpreted these results as support for a discontinuous transition between nonconscious and conscious processing. We present results from 4 attentional-blink experiments showing that this all-or-none rating pattern disappears with the use of an alternative measure of consciousness (post-decision wagering) and a more difficult identification task. Instead, under these circumstances, subjects used the consciousness rating scales in a continuous fashion. These results are more consistent with models that assume a gradual change between nonconscious and conscious perception during the attentional blink.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus