Direct evidence for a role of working memory in the attentional blink

Elkan G Akyürek, Bernhard Hommel, Pierre Jolicœur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Theories of selective attention often have a central memory component, which is commonly thought to be limited in some way and is thereby a potential bottleneck in the attentional process. There have been only a few attempts to validate this assertion, and they have produced mixed results. This study presents a specific examination of the link between working memory and attention by engaging active rather than passive memory operations. Two experiments are reported that provide evidence for the involvement of working memory in the attentional blink (AB) phenomenon. Memory loads of increasing size had a detrimental effect on attentional performance within the blink-sensitive interval, but not beyond. Speeded response requirements proved to modulate the AB, but were independent from the memory load effect. Theoretical implications for current models of selective attention are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-627
Number of pages7
JournalMemory & Cognition
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2007

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Blinking
  • Eye Movements
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • SERIAL VISUAL PRESENTATION
  • SHORT-TERM-MEMORY
  • RESPONSE-SELECTION
  • CONSOLIDATION
  • AUTOMATICITY
  • BOTTLENECK
  • EFFICIENT
  • DEMANDS
  • MASKING
  • SEARCH

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