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The relationship between attentional control and episodic representation was investigated in six experiments that employed a variant of the classic attentional blink paradigm. We introduced a task-irrelevant (unpredictive) color match between the first and second target stimulus in a three-stream rapid serial visual presentation task. When this match was present, the first target reliably elicited a priming benefit to the identification of the second, lateralized target. However, this was only the case when the identities of the targets did not belong to the same category (digits, letters, or symbols). When targets did belong to the same category, interference was observed instead of priming, particularly at Lag 1. Furthermore, when color was the target-defining feature, interference at Lag 1 gave way to priming at longer lags. The interference effect is attributed to partial overlap between competing episodic target representations, which affects the availability of their overlapping features for successive attentional selection in rapid serial visual presentation.
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- Attentional control and competition between episodic representations
Elkan G. Akyürek