The role of preparation time in the attentional blink

Nicholas A. Badcock*, David R. Badcock, Janet Fletcher, John Hogben

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This research investigated the effect of foreperiod predictability in the Attentional Blink (AB). The AB, a cost in processing the second of two targets presented in close temporal proximity, was estimated using a minimalist procedure consisting of two letter targets and two letter fragment masks. In a four-step procedure, differences in foreperiod duration, target exposure duration, and inter-target interval were controlled in order to estimate the AB. Foreperiod was manipulated in three experiments. The AB effect was reduced when a single and relatively long foreperiod value was used (M= 880. ms, Experiment 2) in comparison to randomized (250-750. ms, Experiment 1) and single but relatively short foreperiods (M= 273. ms, Experiment 3). The results are discussed in the context of resource-sharing and preparation of a perceptual-set pertaining to physical target features including modality and intensity, as well as spatial and temporal predictability. It is concluded that foreperiods that are too brief for an individual observer or temporally unpredictable contribute to the AB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalVision Research
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2013


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