Identification facilitation for emotionally arousing verbs during the attentional blink

Andreas Keil, Niklas Ihssen


The present study aimed to examine affective modulation of the "attentional blink" effect during rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). Pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant written verbs were used as a 2nd target (T2) in an 8.6-Hz RSVP paradigm. Pronounced effects of 1st target (T1)-T2 stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) were found, showing reduced report accuracy for 232- and 464-ms SOAs. Affectively arousing (pleasant and unpleasant) T2s were associated with enhanced accuracy compared with neutral T2s specifically during short (232 ms) SOAs. In contrast, pleasant and unpleasant T2s rated low in terms of emotional arousal did not show this enhancement. These results suggest that affectively arousing information is selected preferentially from a temporal stream, facilitating processes such as working memory consolidation and action.


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