Extended temporal integration in rapid serial visual presentation: Attentional control at Lag 1 and beyond

Elkan G. Akyürek, Michael J. Wolff

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In the perception of target stimuli in rapid serial visual presentations, the process of temporal integration plays an important role when two targets are presented in direct succession (at Lag 1), causing them to be perceived as a singular episodic event. This has been associated with increased reversals of target order report and elevated task performance in classic paradigms. Yet, most current models of temporal attention do not incorporate a mechanism of temporal integration and it is currently an open question whether temporal integration is a factor in attentional processing: It might be an independent process, perhaps little more than a sensory sampling rate parameter, isolated to Lag 1, where it leaves the attentional dynamics otherwise unaffected. In the present study, these boundary conditions were tested. Temporal target integration was observed across sequences of three targets spanning an interval of 240 ms. Integration rates furthermore depended strongly on bottom-up attentional filtering, and to a lesser degree on top-down control. The results support the idea that temporal integration is an adaptive process that is part of, or at least interacts with, the attentional system. Implications for current models of temporal attention are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-64
JournalActa Psychologica
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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