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Functional imaging reveals working memory and attention interact to produce the attentional blink

Johnston, Stephen J., Linden, David Edmund Johannes and Shapiro, Kimron L. 2012. Functional imaging reveals working memory and attention interact to produce the attentional blink. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 24 (1) , pp. 28-38. 10.1162/jocn_a_00054

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If two centrally presented visual stimuli occur within approximately half a second of each other, the second target often fails to be reported correctly. This effect, called the attentional blink (AB; Raymond, J. E., Shapiro, K. L., & Arnell, K. M. Temporary suppression of visual processing in an RSVP task: An attentional blink? Journal of Experimental Psychology, Human Perception and Performance, 18, 849–860, 1992], has been attributed to a resource “bottleneck,” likely arising as a failure of attention during encoding into or retrieval from visual working memory (WM). Here we present participants with a hybrid WM–AB study while they undergo fMRI to provide insight into the neural underpinnings of this bottleneck. Consistent with a WM-based bottleneck account, fronto-parietal brain areas exhibited a WM load-dependent modulation of neural responses during the AB task. These results are consistent with the view that WM and attention share a capacity-limited resource and provide insight into the neural structures that underlie resource allocation in tasks requiring joint use of WM and attention.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 26/02/2014).
Publisher: MIT Press
ISSN: 0898-929x
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:51

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