Perceptual processing is not spared during the attentional blink

Alon Zivony*, Shira Shanny, Dominique Lamy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Identification of the second of two targets is impaired when these appear within 500 ms of each other. This phenomenon, known as the attentional blink (AB) is thought to reflect disrupted post-perceptual processing. Yet, decisive empirical support for this claim is lacking. We measured the depth of the AB, while manipulating the second target's reporting feature. We reasoned that if perceptual processing is unaffected by the blink, all the features of the blinked target should have equal access to working memory. In contrast with this prediction, we found identity and semantic-category reports to be more severely impaired by the blink than color reports, although baseline performance was similar in the two report conditions. These findings suggest that high-level features are more poorly represented in working memory than low-level features during the blink. We conclude that the attentional blink disrupts perceptual processing. Implications for contemporary models of the attentional blink are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
JournalJournal of Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1475/12


    • Attention
    • Consciousness
    • Semantics
    • Visual perception
    • Word processing
    • Working memory


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