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ERIC Number: EJ750690
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
The Role of Perceptual Load in Inattentional Blindness
Cartwright-Finch, Ula; Lavie, Nilli
Cognition, v102 n3 p321-340 Mar 2007
Perceptual load theory offers a resolution to the long-standing early vs. late selection debate over whether task-irrelevant stimuli are perceived, suggesting that irrelevant perception depends upon the perceptual load of task-relevant processing. However, previous evidence for this theory has relied on RTs and neuroimaging. Here we tested the effects of load on conscious perception using the "inattentional blindness" paradigm. As predicted by load theory, awareness of a task-irrelevant stimulus was significantly reduced by higher perceptual load (with increased numbers of search items, or a harder discrimination vs. detection task). These results demonstrate that conscious perception of task-irrelevant stimuli critically depends upon the level of task-relevant perceptual load rather than intentions or expectations, thus enhancing the resolution to the early vs. late selection debate offered by the perceptual load theory.
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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