The visual system dynamically modulates attention to identify a target embedded in a rapid sequence of nontargets. Typically, the accuracy of target identification increases as the number of preceding items increases and is maintained at this increased level: Known as the attentional awakening phenomenon. In this study, we investigated the temporal characteristics of the visual system that contribute to maintaining attentional state throughout a trial. In Experiment 1, we initially demonstrated that the enhanced state of attention was reset after a gap of 500-1000 ms that was inserted in the sequence. In Experiment 2, we found that the attentional state was maintained when the temporally separated sequences were encapsulated by a continuous sequence of random dots. In the following experiments, we systematically manipulated the spatiotemporal configurations of random dots (or used a different object) and found that the attentional state was maintained as long as the object continuity was maintained.
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