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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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Response distributions on T2-absent (left) and T2-present trials (right) as a function of T1–T2 lag for each of the four experiments. The ordinates indicate percentage of trials. The numbers plotted in these graphs are reported in Supplementary Table 1
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Fig2: Response distributions on T2-absent (left) and T2-present trials (right) as a function of T1–T2 lag for each of the four experiments. The ordinates indicate percentage of trials. The numbers plotted in these graphs are reported in Supplementary Table 1

Mentions: Figure 2 shows the rating distributions in T2-absent and T2-present trials as a function of lag. In the T2-absent trials, the distributions showed a single peak at 0% visibility (>80% of the trials). In contrast, in T2-present trials in which T2 was clearly visible (outside the attentional blink, at lags 6 and 8), the distribution showed a prominent peak at 100% visibility (~55% of the trials). Importantly, the visibility ratings for T2-present trials during the attentional-blink period showed a clearly bimodal pattern: in some trials, participants gave high visibility ratings, similar to those obtained outside the attentional-blink period, while in the other trials they used the lowest visibility rating (~15% of the responses at 0% visibility), indicating an attentional blink. Some of the intermediate ratings were rarely chosen (especially 17 and 33%). However, the 67 and 83% ratings were chosen more often, suggesting that perception of T2 was not all-or-none as in Sergent and Dehaene (2004). Indeed, the pattern of visibility ratings was more similar to that obtained in a replication study (including EEG) by Sergent, Baillet, and Dehaene (2005), who abandoned the term “all-or-none” and instead referred to a “discontinuous transition” between nonconscious and conscious perception.Fig. 2


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

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

Response distributions on T2-absent (left) and T2-present trials (right) as a function of T1–T2 lag for each of the four experiments. The ordinates indicate percentage of trials. The numbers plotted in these graphs are reported in Supplementary Table 1
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Fig2: Response distributions on T2-absent (left) and T2-present trials (right) as a function of T1–T2 lag for each of the four experiments. The ordinates indicate percentage of trials. The numbers plotted in these graphs are reported in Supplementary Table 1
Mentions: Figure 2 shows the rating distributions in T2-absent and T2-present trials as a function of lag. In the T2-absent trials, the distributions showed a single peak at 0% visibility (>80% of the trials). In contrast, in T2-present trials in which T2 was clearly visible (outside the attentional blink, at lags 6 and 8), the distribution showed a prominent peak at 100% visibility (~55% of the trials). Importantly, the visibility ratings for T2-present trials during the attentional-blink period showed a clearly bimodal pattern: in some trials, participants gave high visibility ratings, similar to those obtained outside the attentional-blink period, while in the other trials they used the lowest visibility rating (~15% of the responses at 0% visibility), indicating an attentional blink. Some of the intermediate ratings were rarely chosen (especially 17 and 33%). However, the 67 and 83% ratings were chosen more often, suggesting that perception of T2 was not all-or-none as in Sergent and Dehaene (2004). Indeed, the pattern of visibility ratings was more similar to that obtained in a replication study (including EEG) by Sergent, Baillet, and Dehaene (2005), who abandoned the term “all-or-none” and instead referred to a “discontinuous transition” between nonconscious and conscious perception.Fig. 2

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