The Functional Architecture of Visual Temporal Attention

04 December 2012
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When we identify a visual object such as a word or letter our ability to identify a second object is impaired if it appears within 500 ms of the first. This outcome has been named the attentional blink (AB) and has been the topic of numerous research reports since 1992 when the first AB paper was published. During the first decade of research on this topic, the focus has been on ‘behavioural’ approaches to understanding the AB phenomenon, with manipulations made on stimulus parameters (e.g., type and spatial distribution), nature of the stimuli (uni-modal or cross-modal), and importantly the role of masking. More recently, researchers have begun to focus on neurophysiological underpinnings of the AB studying patients with focal lesions and using approaches such as ERP, TMS, fMRI, and MEG. My talk will focus on the results of a number of such neurophysiological techniques, suggesting that localisation, in combination with activation and synchronisation methods have begun to unravel a dynamic temporo-parietal frontal network of structures involved in the AB.