Acta Psychol (Amst) 2019 May 16;196:56-69. Epub 2019 Apr 16.
University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
Performance in a dual target rapid serial visual presentation task was investigated, dependent on whether the color or the contrast of the targets was the same or different. Both identification accuracy on the second target, as a measure of temporal attention, and the frequency of temporal integration were measured. When targets had a different color (red or blue), overall identification accuracy of the second target and identification accuracy of the second target at Lag 1 were both higher than when targets had the same color. At the same time, increased temporal integration of the targets at Lag 1 was observed in the different color condition, even though actual (non-integrated) single targets never consisted of multiple colors. When the color pairs were made more similar, so that they all fell within the range of a single nominal hue (blue), these effects were not observed. Different findings were obtained when contrast was manipulated. Identification accuracy of the second target was higher in the same contrast condition than in the different contrast condition. Higher identification accuracy of both targets was furthermore observed when they were presented with high contrast, while target contrast did not influence temporal integration at all. Temporal attention and integration were thus influenced differently by target contrast pairing than by (categorical) color pairing. Categorically different color pairs, or more generally, categorical feature pairs, may thus afford a reduction in temporal competition between successive targets that eventually enhances attention and integration.