Alpha, Beta: The Rhythm of the Attentional Blink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

External organisations

  • Univ British Columbia
  • University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

Abstract

Extant theories of the attentional blink propose that the most critical factor in determining second target accuracy is the time that elapses between the first and second targets. Here we report that this conclusion has overlooked an equally important determinant, namely the frequency of the entraining stream in which these targets are embedded. Specifically, we show in two experiments that the signature of the attentional blink — second target accuracy that increases with inter-target lag — is significantly larger for entraining streams that are in the alpha-beta frequency range, relative to streams that are slower (theta) or faster (gamma). This finding ties the attentional blink critically, for the first time, to these two prominent oscillation frequencies that are known to be involved in the control of human attention and consciousness.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1862–1869
Number of pages20
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin & Review
Volume24
Issue number6
Early online date7 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • beta, attentional blink, attention, oscillations, alpha

ASJC Scopus subject areas