ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (2): 182-191.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00182

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Theoretical Debate and Brain Mechanisms of Repetition Blindness Effect

XIAO Xuezhen1; WANG Aiping1,2   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China) (2 Beijing Key Lab of Applied Experimental Psychology, School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
  • Received:2014-04-01 Online:2015-02-14 Published:2015-02-14
  • Contact: WANG Aiping, E-mail:


It has been over a quarter of a century since the repetition blindness (RB) effect was first reported by Kanwisher (1987) and the precise mechanism underlying RB has been extensively debated. Researchers proposed different theories to account for the effect, for example, it has been argued that RP occurs due to a failure at the visual perception level; alternatively, it has also been argued that RP involves failure to memorize the repeated stimulus. Meanwhile, RB is influenced by many factors, such as presentation durations, lags, experimental materials, spatial locations and tasks. The popularization of neuroscience technology such as ERP and fMRI in recent years allows researchers to reveal the brain activity of RB. As a kind of experimental method, researchers have applied RB effect to explore some phenomena of the visual perception. The current paper reviews these basic research topics. However, many aspects of repetition blindness are still worth of further exploration

Key words: repetition blindness, token individuation theory, retrieval failure theory, construction/attribution theory, neural mechanisms