Bleeping you out of the blink: Sound saves vision from oblivion.

C.N.L. Olivers, E. van der Burg

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The second of two targets (T2) presented in a rapid visual stream is often missed when presented shortly after the first (T1). This phenomenon has been referred to as the attentional blink. Here we show that the presentation of a synchronous sound enables T2 to escape the attentional blink, to the extent that performance was back at the level of T1. The sound also improved T1 identification, with little evidence for a trade-off between T1 and T2. Improvements were also found even if the sounds coincided with distractors on 82% of the trials, suggesting an automatic component. Sounds that preceded the targets had little to no effect on T2, suggesting that the enhancement was not due to alerting. These findings replicate and extend earlier work on audition-driven perceptual enhancement of single visual targets. They also have implications for theories of the attentional blink. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-199
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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