Lead stimulus modality change and the attentional modulation of the acoustic and electrical blink reflex
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Two experiments investigated the effects of the sensory modality of the lead and of the blink-eliciting stimulus during lead stimulus modality change on blink modulation at lead intervals of 2500 and 3500 ms. Participants were presented with acoustic, visual, or tactile change stimuli after habituation training with lead stimuli from the same or a different sensory modality. In Experiment 1, latency and magnitude of the acoustic blink were facilitated during a change to acoustic or visual lead stimuli, but not during a change to tactile lead stimuli. After habituation to acoustic lead stimuli, blink magnitude was smaller during tactile change stimuli than during habituation stimuli. The latter finding was replicated in Experiment 2 in which blink was elicited by electrical stimulation of the trigeminal nerve. The consistency of the findings across different combinations of lead stimulus and blink-eliciting stimulus modalities does not support a modality-specific account of attentional blink modulation. Rather, blink modulation during generalized orienting reflects modality non-specific processes, although modulation may not always be found during tactile lead stimuli.
© 2002 Elsevier. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.