When sustained attention impairs perception

Sam Ling, Marisa Carrasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Virtually all behavioral and neurophysiological studies have shown that sustained (endogenous, conceptually driven) attention enhances perception. But can this enhancement be held indefinitely? We assessed the time course of attention's effects on contrast sensitivity, reasoning that if attention does indeed boost stimulus strength, the strengthened representation could result in stronger adaptation over time. We found that attention initially enhances contrast sensitivity, but that over time sustained attention can actually impair sensitivity to an attended stimulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1243-1245
Number of pages3
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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