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Inhibition related impairments of coherent motion perception in the attention-induced motion blindness paradigm

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

A striking effect of selective attention on perception of first- and second-order motion has been termed 'attention-induced motion blindness' or AMB (Sahraie et al., 2001). The AMB paradigm is based on a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task and causes a severe transient impairment of the detection of coherent motion in a random dot kinematogram (RDK). The effect crucially depends on irrelevant motion intervals (distractors) prior to the motion target. To account for this phenomenon, both psychophysical and electrophysiological studies point to the existence of a post-perceptual gate operated by attentional mechanisms that limits access to the encoded motion signals by higher cortical areas. Here, we report in a first experiment that the presentation of motion distractors reduces motion sensitivity (operationalised as motion coherence threshold) which is in line with the assumption of a temporal carry-over effect of distractor inhibition. In a second experiment, we show that the rate of recovery of AMB is independent of target salience. The results of the third experiment provide evidence against the assumption that AMB is due to a shift or expansion of the 'attentional spotlight'.

Affiliations: 1: Weizmann Institute of Science, Department of Neurobiology, Rehovot, Israel; 2: School of Psychology, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, UK; 3: Institute of Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany


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