Abstract

The attentional blink (AB) documents a particularly strong case of visual attentional competition, in which subjects' ability to identify a second target (T2) is significantly impaired when it is presented with a short SOA after a first target (T1). We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the impact of the AB on visual activity in individually defined retinotopic representations of the target stimuli. Our results show reduction of neural response in V3 and marginally in V2 and V1, paralleling the behavioral AB effect. Reduction of visual activity was accompanied by reduced neural response in the inferior parietal cortex. This indicates that attentional competition modulates activity in higher-order parietal regions and the early visual cortex, providing a plausible neural basis of the behavioral AB effect.

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