Inverted, Upright, and Blurred Faces Are Not Immune to the Attentional Blink.


While a robust Attentional Blink (AB) occurs for letters, digits, and objects, the evidence is mixed for face targets. The multiple channel hypothesis posits that both configural and featural channels operate for faces during an AB task and each channel has its own resource limitations. Consequently, if Target 1 (T1) only occupies one channel then Target 2 (T2) is processed via the other channel avoiding the AB. Three experiments employed a two-target-mask paradigm to examine the multiple channel hypothesis by varying the featural and configural processing requirements of T1 and T2 faces. Experiment 1 used clear upright and clear inverted faces, and Experiment 2 used blurred upright and clear inverted faces, to engage configural and featural processing, respectively. Experiment 3 centrally presented blurred upright and clear inverted faces to ensure that the results of the prior experiments could not be attributed to spatial shifts of attention to the target positions. Contrary to the multiple channel hypothesis, the results of all three experiments showed an AB for all conditions regardless of the T1 and T2 faces engaging the same or different processing channels. This study showed that faces suffer from the same processing impairments as other categories of targets during the AB.

DOI: 10.1177/0301006616643665

Cite this paper

@article{Eagles2016InvertedUA, title={Inverted, Upright, and Blurred Faces Are Not Immune to the Attentional Blink.}, author={Sarah Eagles and Karen A. Murphy}, journal={Perception}, year={2016}, volume={45 8}, pages={893-909} }