Attentional modulation of blink startle at long, short, and very short lead intervals.


The present research investigated attentional blink startle modulation at lead intervals of 60, 240 and 3500 ms. Letters printed in Gothic or standard fonts, which differed in rated interest, but not valence, served as lead stimuli. Experiment 1 established that identifying letters as vowels/consonants took longer than reading the letters and that performance in both tasks was slower if letters were printed in Gothic font. In Experiment 2, acoustic blink eliciting stimuli were presented 60, 240 and 3500 ms after onset of the letters in Gothic and in standard font and during intertrial intervals. Half the participants (Group Task) were asked to identify the letters as vowels/consonants whereas the others (Group No-Task) did not perform a task. Relative to control responses, blinks during letters were facilitated at 60 and 3500 ms lead intervals and inhibited at the 240 ms lead interval for both conditions in Group Task. Differences in blink modulation across lead intervals were found in Group No-Task only during Gothic letters with blinks at the 3500 ms lead interval facilitated relative to control blinks. The present results confirm previous findings indicating that attentional processes can modulate startle at very short lead intervals.


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@article{Lipp2001AttentionalMO, title={Attentional modulation of blink startle at long, short, and very short lead intervals.}, author={Ottmar V Lipp and Terry Blumenthal and Andrea R Adam}, journal={Biological psychology}, year={2001}, volume={58 2}, pages={89-103} }