Right visual-field advantage in the attentional blink: Asymmetry in attentional gating across time and space

Dafna Bergerbest, Orit Shilkrot, Michal Joseph, Moti Salti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


When two targets are presented in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), recognition of the second target (T2) is usually reduced when presented 150–500 ms after the first target, demonstrating an attentional blink (AB). Previous studies have shown a left visual-field (LVF) advantage in T2 recognition, when T2 was embedded in one of two streams, demanding top-down attention for its recognition. Here, we explored the impact of bottom-up saliency on spatial asymmetry in the AB. When T2 was spatially shifted outside from the RSVP, creating an abrupt onset of T2, right T2s showed a right visual-field (RVF) advantage. In lag-1 trials, right T2s were not only better recognized, but also showed a low T1-T2 order error rate. In contrast, recognized left T2s exhibited high order error rate. Without abrupt onset, symmetrical AB was found and order error rate was similarly low in both sides. Follow-up experiments showed that, while RVF advantage was related to bottom-up saliency, order errors were affected by T1 mask. The discrepancy between LVF and RVF advantage in the AB could be resolved in terms of two mechanisms of attentional gating: top-down attentional gating, which is biased towards LVF, and bottom-up attentional gating, which is biased towards RVF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1979-1992
Number of pages14
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Attentional blink
  • Temporal processing
  • Visual awareness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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