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Vision Res. 2001 Jun;41(13):1619-30.

Attentional shifts between surfaces: effects on detection and early brain potentials.

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Cognitive Neuroscience Department, Cuban Center for Neuroscience, Havana, Cuba.


Two consecutive events transforming the same illusory surface in transparent motion (brief changes in direction) can be discriminated with ease, but a prolonged interference ( approximately 500 ms) on the discrimination of the second event arises when different surfaces are concerned [Valdes-Sosa, M., Cobo, A., & Pinilla, T. (2000). Attention to object files defined by transparent motion. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 26(2), 488-505]. Here we further characterise this phenomenon and compare it to the attentional blink AB [Shapiro, K.L., Raymond, J.E., & Arnell, K.M. (1994). Attention to visual pattern information produces the attentional blink in RSVP. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 20, 357-371]. Similar to the AB, reduced sensitivity (d') was found in the two-surface condition. However, the two-surface cost was associated with a reduced N1 brain response in contrast to reports for AB [Vogel, E.K., Luck, S.J., & Shapiro, K. (1998). Electrophysiological evidence for a postperceptual locus of suppression during the attentional blink. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 24(6), 1656-1674]. The results from this study indicate that the two-surface cost corresponds to competitive effects in early vision. Reasons for the discrepancy with the AB study are considered.

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