Alpha entrainment is responsible for the attentional blink phenomenon

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ZAUNER, Andrea, Robert FELLINGER, Joachim GROSS, Simon HANSLMAYR, Kimron SHAPIRO, Walter GRUBER, Sebastian MÜLLER, Wolfgang KLIMESCH, 2012. Alpha entrainment is responsible for the attentional blink phenomenon. In: NeuroImage. 63(2), pp. 674-686. ISSN 1053-8119. eISSN 1095-9572. Available under: doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.06.075

@article{Zauner2012-11-01Alpha-20529, title={Alpha entrainment is responsible for the attentional blink phenomenon}, year={2012}, doi={10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.06.075}, number={2}, volume={63}, issn={1053-8119}, journal={NeuroImage}, pages={674--686}, author={Zauner, Andrea and Fellinger, Robert and Gross, Joachim and Hanslmayr, Simon and Shapiro, Kimron and Gruber, Walter and Müller, Sebastian and Klimesch, Wolfgang} }

Fellinger, Robert Hanslmayr, Simon NeuroImage ; 63 (2012), 2. - S. 674-686 2012-09-20T07:31:14Z Gruber, Walter Shapiro, Kimron Alpha entrainment is responsible for the attentional blink phenomenon Fellinger, Robert Gruber, Walter Müller, Sebastian Müller, Sebastian Zauner, Andrea Hanslmayr, Simon Shapiro, Kimron terms-of-use 2012-11-01 Gross, Joachim Klimesch, Wolfgang Zauner, Andrea 2012-09-20T07:31:14Z Klimesch, Wolfgang eng Gross, Joachim The attentional blink phenomenon is the reduced ability to report a second target (T2) after identifying a first target (T1) in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) of stimuli (e.g., letters), which are presented at approximately 10 items per second. Several explanations have been proposed, which focus primarily on cognitive aspects, such as attentional filter-, capacity limitation- and retrieval failure-processes.<br /><br /><br />Here, we focus on the hypothesis that an entrainment of alpha oscillations (with a frequency of about 10 Hz) is a critical factor for the attentional blink phenomenon. Our hypothesis is based on the fact that item presentation rate in the RSVP typically lies in the alpha frequency range and is motivated by theories assuming an inhibitory function for alpha. We predict that entrainment – during the time window of T2 presentation – is larger for attentional blink (AB) items (when T2 cannot be reported) than for NoAB trials (when T2 cannot be reported).<br /><br /><br />The results support our hypothesis and show that alpha entrainment as measured by the amplitude of the alpha evoked response and the extent of alpha phase concentration is larger for AB than for NoAB trials. Together with the lack of differences in alpha power these findings demonstrate that the differences between AB and NoAB trials – during presentation onset of T2 – are due to an entrainment of alpha phase and not due to an amplitude modulation. Thus, we conclude that alpha entrainment may be considered the critical factor underlying the attentional blink phenomenon.

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