ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (2): 221-228.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.00221

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 Attentional Boost Effect: New insights on relationship between attention and memory

 MENG Yingfang; LIN Huiru   

  1.  (School of Psychology, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350117, China)
  • Received:2017-03-22 Online:2018-02-15 Published:2017-12-26
  • Contact: MENG Yingfang, E-mail:
  • Supported by:

Abstract:  Divided attention during encoding has long been known to impair later memory performance due to limited attentional resources. However, Swallow and Jiang (2010) reported a surprising variation of this phenomenon using a secondary target detection task. The appearance of a secondary target -- a behaviorally relevant, attentionally demanding stimulus, was associated with enhanced memory for concurrent information, an effect labeled the Attentional Boost Effect (ABE). A dual-task interaction model was proposed to account for the ABE. This model states that the ABE reflects a temporal selective attention mechanism triggered by target-detection, which then facilitates early perceptual processing of the target as well as the background stimulus that coincides with it. However, several following studies do not support this model. So we suppose that the enhanced perceptual encoding might not be the only reason for the ABE; whereas a suppression effect due to distractor rejection might also contribute to the ABE; and the ABE might also arise from the later phase other than the early encoding phase. Therefore, further research is needed to explore all possible mechanisms and hereby modify the theoretical model for the ABE.

Key words: Attentional Boost Effect, target detection, distractor rejection, memory

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