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J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2003 Aug;29(4):793-807.

Attention during adaptation weakens negative afterimages.

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Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.


The effect of attention during adaptation on subsequent negative afterimages was examined. One of 2 overlapped outline figures was attended during a 7-10-s adaptation period. When the figures were readily perceptually segregated (on the basis of color or motion), the subsequent afterimages were initially weaker for the previously attended figure. This effect was confirmed by demonstrations that the onset of a single afterimage was delayed when an afterimage inducer was attended during adaptation compared with when a central digit stream or an overlapped (brightness-balanced) figure that did not generate an afterimage was attended. The attention effect was further confirmed using a criterion-independent (dot-integration) paradigm. The fact that selective attention during adaptation weakened or delayed afterimages suggests that attention primarily facilitates the adaptation of polarity-independent processes that modulate the visibility of afterimages rather than facilitating the adaptation of polarity-selective processes that mediate the formation of afterimages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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