The independent effects of attention and lead stimulus properties on the acoustic blink reflex
The effects of attention to a lead stimulus and of its sensory properties on modulation of the acoustic blink reflex were investigated. Participants performed a reaction time task cued by an acoustic or a visual lead stimulus. In Experiment 1, half the participants were presented with sustained lead stimuli. For the remainder, the lead stimulus was discrete and consisted of two brief presentations that marked the onset and offset of a stimulus-free interval. In Experiment 2, sustained lead stimuli were presented at a low or high intensity. The attentional demands of the task enhanced blink latency and magnitude modulation during acoustic and visual lead stimuli, with blink modulation being largest at a late point during the lead stimulus. Independent of the attentional effects, blink latency and magnitude modulation were larger during sustained than during discrete acoustic lead stimuli, whereas there was no difference for visual lead stimuli. Increases in the intensity of the lead stimulus enhanced blink modulation regardless of lead stimulus modality. Attention to a lead stimulus and the properties of the lead stimulus appear to have independent effects on blink reflex modulation.
Journal of Psychophysiology
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