Phonological encoding in the attentional blink paradigm

Veronika Coltheart*, Lisa S. Yen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The attentional blink refers to a deficit in reporting a second target that follows a first target within a few hundred milliseconds, when both targets occur in a sequence of distractors shown serially at rates of about 10 items per second. In four experiments, phonological similarity of post-Target 1 distractors impaired dual target report within the interval in which the attentional blink occurs. Similarity of letter targets had a smaller, less reliable effect on performance. Phonological similarity of letter distractors did not affect single target identification (Experiment 3), but it continued to impair dual target report (Experiment 5), even when the targets belonged to a different category - namely, digits. The results demonstrated that, not only targets, but also distractors are encoded phonologically, despite the fact that distractors are irrelevant and never have to be reported.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)944-949
    Number of pages6
    JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


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