PURPOSE: Brain imaging studies have shown that global and local attention activate different areas of the brain, with implication for dependence of perception on attentional state. The aim of the present experiment was to investigate the duration of the attentional blink in global versus local attention. METHODS: Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) sequences of global/local stimuli were presented to 34 adult subjects who had to identify a target red figure followed by a determination of whether a certain probe letter, 'X' (specified to be either the global or local form), was present in the subsequent string of letters. RESULTS: Attentional blinks were longer than any previously reported (1.67 s global; 2.97 s local) and were significantly different.Thus, the length of the attentional blink is dependent on the attentional state of the subject. CONCLUSION: This pattern of results is consistent with the hypothesis that global attention mechanisms receive predominantly M-pathway input.