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Load induced blindness

Macdonald, JSP; Lavie, N; (2008) Load induced blindness. J EXP PSYCHOL HUMAN , 34 (5) 1078 - 1091. 10.1037/0096-1523.34.5.1078. Gold open access

Abstract

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 oil 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 oil 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.

Type:Article
Title:Load induced blindness
Open access status:An open access publication
DOI:10.1037/0096-1523.34.5.1078
Publisher version:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC2672054/?tool=pubmed
Keywords:attention. perceptual load, distractors, awareness, inattentional blindness, VISUAL SELECTIVE ATTENTION, PERCEPTUAL LOAD, WORKING-MEMORY, INATTENTIONAL BLINDNESS, MODULATES RESPONSES, REACTION-TIME, SEARCH, TASK, UNCERTAINTY, INFORMATION
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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