Distraction and the auditory attentional blink

János Horváth, Annamária Burgyán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


When two target stimuli (T1 and T2) are presented in close succession within a stimulus sequence, detection or discrimination performance for T2 is often impaired; this phenomenon is called the attentional blink (AB). Growing evidence suggests that the AB is present not only for visual, but also for auditory stimuli. Because sounds have a strong potential to attract attention when they are presented after longer silent intervals or in a sequence from which they stand out because of their rare or novel physical features, it seems possible that the involuntary and excessive allocation of attention to T1 (distraction) may contribute to the AB. By varying the saliency of T1, we showed that distraction does contribute to the auditory AB effect, but the contribution is short-lived: Only stimuli immediately following T1 are affected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-701
Number of pages7
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 4 2011


  • Attention
  • Attentional blink
  • Audition
  • Distraction
  • Orienting
  • Salience
  • Stimulus-driven

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Linguistics and Language

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