Audiovisual semantic interference and attention: Evidence from the attentional blink paradigm

E. van den Burg, E. Brederoo, M.R. Nieuwenstein, J. Theeuwes, C.N.L. Olivers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the present study we investigate the role of attention in audiovisual semantic interference, by using an attentional blink paradigm. Participants were asked to make an unspeeded response to the identity of a visual target letter. This target letter was preceded at various SOAs by a synchronized audiovisual letter-pair, which was either congruent (e.g. hearing an " F" and viewing an " F" ) or incongruent (e.g. hearing an " F" and viewing a " Z" ). In Experiment 1, participants were asked to match the members of the audiovisual letter-pair. In Experiment 2, participants were asked to ignore the synchronized audiovisual letter-pairs altogether and only report the visual target. In Experiment 3, participants were asked to identify only one of the audiovisual letters (identify the auditory letter, and ignore the synchronized visual letter, or vice versa). An attentional blink was found in all three experiments indicating that the audiovisual letter-pairs were processed. However, a congruency effect on subsequent target detection was observed in Experiments 1 and 3, but not in Experiment 2. The results indicate that attention to the semantic contents of at least one modality is necessary to establish audiovisual semantic interference. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-205
JournalActa Psychologica
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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