[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Visual stimuli that are made invisible by metacontrast masking (primes) have a marked influence on behavioral and psychophysiological measures such as reaction time (RT) and the lateralized readiness potential (LRP). 4 experiments are reported that shed light on the effects that masked primes have on the LRP. Participants had a go-nogo task in which the prime was associated with 1 of 2 responses even if the target required participants to refrain from responding. To analyze the electrophysiological responses, we computed the LRP and applied an averaging method separating the activation due to the prime and the target. The results demonstrated that (a) masked primes activate responses even in a nogo situation, (b) this prime-related activation is independent of masking, (c) and is also independent of whether prime and target require the same responses (congruent condition) or different responses (incongruent condition).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Do threatening or negative faces capture attention? The authors argue that evidence from visual search, spatial cuing, and flanker tasks is equivocal and that perceptual differences may account for effects attributed to emotional categories. Empirically, the authors examine the flanker task. Although they replicate previous results in which a positive face flanked by negative faces suffers more interference than a negative face flanked by positive faces, further results indicate that face perception is not necessary for the flanker-effect asymmetry and that the asymmetry also occurs with nonemotional stimuli. The authors conclude that the flanker-effect asymmetry with affective faces cannot be unambiguously attributed to emotional differences and may well be due to purely perceptual differences between the stimuli.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research on visuospatial attention indicates that a peripheral abrupt-onset cue at target position (valid condition) facilitates processing of the target, whereas a cue at another position interferes. This validity effect seems to be contingent on a similarity of the cue's color to the set of target colors (cf. J. Exp. Psychol.: Human Percep. Perform. 18 (1992) 1030). In Experiments 1-3, we confirm this contingency with cues that have the potential to activate responses. Thus, attentional capture and response capture are apparently governed by the same principle. In Experiment 2, it is demonstrated that color priming is not responsible for the contingency. In Experiment 3, it is shown that a more efficient reallocation of attention after color-dissimilar cues than after color-similar cues might contribute to the contingency.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: According to contingent-processing accounts, peripheral cuing effects are due to the cues' inadvertent selection for processing by control settings set up for targets (e.g., C. L. Folk, R. W. Remington, & J. C. Johnston, 1992). Consequently, cues similar to targets should have stronger effects than do dissimilar cues. In the current study, this prediction is confirmed for cue-target combinations similar or dissimilar in the static features of color (Experiments 1-3) and location (Experiment 4), even when both cues and targets share the dynamic feature of abrupt onset. Perceptual priming (Experiment 2) and reallocation of attention did not account for similar-dissimilar differences (Experiments 3 and 4). The results are best explained by top-down-contingent attentional effects of the similar cues. Implications for bottom-up accounts of peripheral cuing effects are discussed. ((c) 2003 APA, all rights reserved)
Journal of Experimental Psychology Human Perception & Performance 11/2003; 29(5):937-48. DOI:10.1037/0096-1518.104.22.1687 · 3.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: According to the concept of direct parameter specification, nonconsciously registered information can be processed to the extent that it matches currently active intentions of a person. This prediction was tested and confirmed in the current study. Masked visual information provided by peripheral cues led to reaction time (RT) effects only if the information specified one of the required responses (Experiments 1 and 3). Information delivered by the same masked cues that did not match the intentions was not used. However, the same information influenced RT if it was provided by visible cues (Experiments 2 and 3). The results suggest that the processing of nonconsciously registered information is flexible because it is susceptible to the changing intentions of a person. Yet, these processes are apparently restricted, as nonconsciously registered information cannot be used as easily for purposes not corresponding to the currently active intentions as better visible information.
Consciousness and Cognition 01/2003; 11(4):528-45. DOI:10.1016/S1053-8100(02)00026-0 · 2.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years it has been suggested that processing of visual information is divided between a ventral stream, responsible for object recognition and conscious processing of object properties, and a dorsal stream mediating automatic integration of visual information into a motor task. We used metacontrast masking to prevent conscious perception of visual cues concerning the load of an object to be lifted in a precision grip. It was found that when such non-consciously perceived cues warned of a load change, they allowed the subjects to produce the grip force profile appropriate to the new load. It is concluded that non-consciously perceived visual information can be utilised to adapt a functional motor task to actual conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Visual conscious perception could be grounded in a nonconscious sensorimotor domain. Although invisible, information can be processed up to the level of response activation. Moreover, these nonconscious processes are modified by actual intentions. This notion bridges a gap in the theoretical framework of O'Regan & Noë.