NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ823661
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0033-295X
A Boost and Bounce Theory of Temporal Attention
Olivers, Christian N. L.; Meeter, Martijn
Psychological Review, v115 n4 p836-863 Oct 2008
What is the time course of visual attention? Attentional blink studies have found that the 2nd of 2 targets is often missed when presented within about 500 ms from the 1st target, resulting in theories about relatively long-lasting capacity limitations or bottlenecks. Earlier studies, however, reported quite the opposite finding: Attention is transiently enhanced, rather than reduced, for several hundreds of milliseconds after a relevant event. The authors present a general theory, as well as a working computational model, that integrate these findings. There is no central role for capacity limitations or bottlenecks. Central is a rapidly responding gating system (or attentional filter) that seeks to enhance relevant and suppress irrelevant information. When items sufficiently match the target description, they elicit transient excitatory feedback activity (a "boost" function), meant to provide access to working memory. However, in the attentional blink task, the distractor after the target is accidentally boosted, resulting in subsequent strong inhibitory feedback response (a "bounce"), which, in effect, closes the gate to working memory. The theory explains many findings that are problematic for limited-capacity accounts, including a new experiment showing that the attentional blink can be postponed.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A