Decision-Making Training Reduces the Attentional Blink

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Practice or training on a particular task often yields gains for the trained task; however, the extent to which these benefits generalize to other stimuli/tasks is contentious. It has been suggested that behavioral decision-making/response selection training may enhance temporal visual attention, as measured using the attentional blink (AB) paradigm. Here, we show that AB can indeed be reduced through response selection training, which requires repeatedly performing a speeded decision-making task. Training gains garnered by this approach transferred to distinct AB measures, but not to unrelated measures of visual search and multitasking ability. Moreover, these changes were still evident 2 weeks after training completion. Crucially, training on 2 active control tasks—visual search and motion discrimination—did not elicit similar gains. Such malleability of temporal visual attention via response selection training offers tantalizing prospects for future cognitive enhancement endeavors.

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