Modality specific auditory and visual temporal processing deficits

TitleModality specific auditory and visual temporal processing deficits
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsSoto-Faraco S, Spence C
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Date Published09/2010

We studied the attentional blink (AB) and the repetition blindness (RB) effects using an audio-visual presentation procedure designed to overcome several potential methodological confounds in previous cross-modal research. In Experiment 1, two target digits were embedded amongst letter distractors in two concurrent streams (one visual and the other auditory) presented from the same spatial location. Targets appeared in either modality unpredictably at different temporal lags, and the participants' task was to recall the digits at the end of the trial. We evaluated both AB and RB for pairs of targets presented in either the same or different modalities. Under these conditions both AB and RB were observed in vision, AB but not RB was observed in audition, and there was no evidence of AB or RB cross-modally from audition to vision or vice versa. In Experiment 2, we further investigated the AB by including Lag 1 items and observed Lag 1 sparing, thus ruling out the possibility that the observed effects were due to perceptual and/or conceptual masking. Our results support a distinction between a modality-specific interference at the attentional selection stage and a modality-independent interference at later processing stages. They also provide a new dissociation between the AB and RB.