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ERIC Number: EJ823686
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Load Induced Blindness
Macdonald, James S. P.; Lavie, Nilli
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v34 n5 p1078-1091 Oct 2008
Although the perceptual load theory of attention has stimulated a great deal of research, evidence for the role of perceptual load in determining perception has typically relied on indirect measures that infer perception from distractor effects on reaction times or neural activity (see N. Lavie, 2005, for a review). Here we varied the level of perceptual load in a letter-search task and assessed its effect on the conscious perception of a search-irrelevant shape stimulus appearing in the periphery, using a direct measure of awareness (present/absent reports). Detection sensitivity (d') was consistently reduced with high, compared to low, perceptual load but was unaffected by the level of working memory load. Because alternative accounts in terms of expectation, memory, response bias, and goal-neglect due to the more strenuous high load task were ruled out, these experiments clearly demonstrate that high perceptual load determines conscious perception, impairing the ability to merely detect the presence of a stimulus--a phenomenon of load induced blindness.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A