In a recent commentary, Memmert critiqued claims that attentional misdirection is directly analogous to inattentional blindness and cautioned against assuming too close a similarity between the two phenomena. One important difference highlighted in his analysis is that most lab-based inductions of IB rely on the taxing of attention through a demanding primary task, whereas attentional misdirection typically involves simply the orchestration of spatial attention. The present commentary argues that, rather than reflecting a complete dissociation between IB and attentional misdirection, this (...) difference highlights potential grounds for delineating mechanistically distinct forms of IB: spatial inattentional blindness, which stems from the covert misallocation of spatial attention, and central inattentional blindness, which stems from disruption or preoccupation of perceptual mechanisms that interface with higher-level processes such as working memory. Recognition of such distinctions can help situate theoretical understanding of IB more firmly within the context of the broader attention literature. (shrink)
ABSTRACTEmotional distractors can impair perception of subsequently presented targets, a phenomenon called emotion-induced blindness. Do emotional distractors lose their power to disrupt perception when appearing with increased frequency, perhaps due to desensitisation or enhanced recruitment of proactive control? Non-emotional tasks, such as the Stroop, have revealed that high frequency distractors or conflict lead to reduced interference, and distractor frequency appears to modulate attentional capture by emotional distractors in spatial attention tasks. But emotion-induced blindness is thought to reflect perceptual competition between (...) targets and emotional distractors, and it is unclear whether high frequency emotional stimuli cause less disruption at this relatively early stage of processing. In four experiments, participants searched streams of images for a rotated target image. A negative or neutral distractor appeared before the target, and their relative frequency was manipulated. Across all exper... (shrink)
Block's target article makes a significant contribution toward sorting the neural bases of phenomenal consciousness from the neural systems that underlie cognitive access to it. However, data from developmental science suggest that cognitive access may be only one of several ways to access phenomenology. These data may also have implications for the visual-cognitive phenomena that Block uses to support his case.