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Unconscious processing of invisible visual stimuli

Song, Chen and Yao, Haishan 2016. Unconscious processing of invisible visual stimuli. Scientific Reports 6 (1) , 38917. 10.1038/srep38917

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Unconscious processing of subliminal visual information, as illustrated by the above-chance accuracy in discriminating invisible visual stimuli, is evident in both blindsight patients and healthy human observers. However, the dependence of such unconscious processing on stimulus properties remains unclear. Here we studied the impact of stimulus luminance and stimulus complexity on the extent of unconscious processing. A testing stimulus presented to one eye was rendered invisible by a masking stimulus presented to the other eye, and healthy human participants made a forced-choice discrimination of the stimulus identity followed by a report of the perceptual awareness. Without awareness of the stimulus existence, participants could nevertheless reach above-chance accuracy in discriminating the stimulus identity. Importantly, the discrimination accuracy for invisible stimuli increased with the stimulus luminance and decreased with the stimulus complexity. These findings suggested that the input signal strength and the input signal complexity can affect the extent of unconscious processing without altering the subjective awareness.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 15 November 2016
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 13:48

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