Mark W. Geisler's research while affiliated with San Francisco State University and other places

Publications (12)

Article
Full-text available
The Reflexive Imagery Task (RIT) reveals that the activation of sets can result in involuntary cognitions that are triggered by external stimuli. In the basic RIT, subjects are presented with an image of an object (e.g., CAT) and instructed to not think of the name of the object. Involuntary subvocalizations of the name (the RIT effect) arise on ro...
Article
Percepts and urges often enter consciousness involuntarily. The Reflexive Imagery Task (RIT) reveals how high-level cognitions, too, can enter consciousness involuntarily. In the task, the eliciting stimuli are visual (e.g., picture of a cat), and the involuntary imagery is verbal (e.g., the subvocalization "cat"). The generalizability of the RIT e...
Article
Full-text available
High-level cognitions can be triggered into consciousness through the presentation of external stimuli and the activation of certain action sets. These activations arise in a manner that is involuntary, systematic and nontrivial. For example, in the Reflexive Imagery Task (RIT), subjects are presented with visual objects and instructed to not think...
Article
Investigators have begun to examine the fleeting urges and inclinations that subjects experience when performing tasks involving response interference and working memory. Building on this research, we developed a paradigm in which subjects, after learning to press certain buttons when presented with certain letters, are presented with two action-re...
Article
Spontaneous thoughts can arise from past memories, future tasks, and environmental cues. We developed a paradigm to investigate the stream of consciousness leading to spontaneous thoughts. While performing a concentration exercise (9 min) requiring one to focus only on one’s breathing, subjects observed spontaneous thoughts and counted the number o...
Poster
Full-text available
Research suggests that individuals with elevated anxiety and depression tend to exhibit a bias toward threat-related or negatively valenced stimuli. Using a new paradigm, the Reflexive Imagery Task, we investigated how individuals with these characteristics suppress unintended thoughts (involuntary subvocalizations) toward valenced visual stimuli (...
Poster
Full-text available
Representations held in working memory can result in interference resembling that of distractors in response interference paradigms such as the classic flanker task (Eriksen & Eriksen, 1974; Hubbard et al., 2013). We developed a paradigm in which participants (n = 16) pressed certain buttons in response to certain visual stimuli (letters). At the b...
Article
Full-text available
Voluntary action is peculiar in several ways. For example, it is highly prospective in nature, requiring the activation of the representations of anticipated action-effects (e.g., a button pressed). These prospective action-effects can represent outcomes in the short-term (e.g., fingers snapping or uttering “cheers”) or in the long-term (e.g., buil...
Article
Full-text available
The conscious field includes not only representations about external stimuli (e.g., percepts), but also conscious contents associated with internal states, such as action-related intentions (e.g., urges). Although understudied, the latter may provide unique insights into the nature of consciousness. To illuminate these phenomena, in a new experimen...
Article
Full-text available
We offer novel evidence that a Black man appears lighter in the mind’s eye following a counter-stereotypic prime, a phenomenon we refer to as skin tone memory bias. In Experiment 1, participants were primed subliminally with the counterstereotypic word educated or with the stereotypic word ignorant, followed by the target stimulus of a Black man’s...
Article
Full-text available
How consciousness is generated by the nervous system remains one of the greatest mysteries in science. Investigators from diverse fields have begun to unravel this puzzle by contrasting conscious and unconscious processes. In this way, it has been revealed that the two kinds of processes differ in terms of the underlying neural events and associate...

Citations

... " Fifth, RIT effects are more likely to arise for some sensory systems than for others. For example, RIT effects are more likely for verbal and visual imagery than for olfactory/gustatory imagery (Dou et al., 2018). Such a systematic effect is unlikely to arise from demand characteristics. ...
... Indeed, in a recent study comparing the same CHL group and a demographically matched CNH sample, these CHL showed significantly elevated right precentral activity relative to CNH during both encoding and maintenance (Heinrichs-Graham et al. 2021). There are a number of studies that suggest that cortical motor activation is likely important in subvocal rehearsal of verbal or speech-related stimuli (Cho et al. 2018), though this has been difficult to study using neuroimaging. Interestingly, synchronization (i.e., ERS activity) is typically associated with motor suppression, while desynchronization (i.e., ERD activity) is associated with motor activation (Neuper et al. 2006). ...
... 3 Investigations on action control have illuminated that involuntary entry of urges can arise from bodily needs (Loewenstein, 1996) and from the activation of conflicting action plans (Lewin, 1935;Morsella et al., 2009a,b;Desender et al., 2014;Questienne et al., 2018). Moreover, metacognitions (e.g., action-related urges) can enter consciousness insuppressibly as a function of set and the presentation of external stimuli (Garcia et al., 2016). 4 The flanker task precedes research on ironic processing, which is associated with failures of self-regulation (e.g., in dieting; Wegner, 1989). ...
... Therefore, this illustrates the dynamic changes in coupling/decoupling of the default and executive networks in relation to mind-wandering. Additionally, a recent study investigated the neuronal differences between thoughts triggered either internally or externally by using correlation coefficient measure, which is similar to coherence measures (Godwin, Morsella, & Geisler, 2016). Findings revealed increased functional connectivity over parietal areas within the alpha band for internal compared to external thoughts. ...
... Wegner (1994) proposes that ironic effects, including the RIT effect, stem from a "monitoring" process that is automatic. To other theorists (Ach, 1905(Ach, /1951Bhangal et al., 2016), these effects are the result of sets being automatically activated by instructions. From this point of view, just by hearing the word "add" in the instruction "Do not add the following numbers, " there is activation of the set to perform this mental operation. ...
... There were 10 unique photographs per sign and subjects never saw these stimuli again during the critical trials. Using different stimuli on each of the 10 training trials diminishes the effects of stimulusspecific habituation (Bhangal et al., 2016) and also increases the likelihood of "stimulus generalization" across the entire stimulus class, so that training-based effects will arise for all school zones, for example. ...
... For example, lighter skin tones are more often associated with higher levels of perceived competence. In a series of studies, participants who were primed to associate the word educated with the photograph of a Black man (Ben-Zeev et al., 2014) exhibited a skin tone memory bias, remembering him as having a much lighter skin tone. These findings suggest the existence of a need to achieve cognitive consistency after a counter-stereotypical portrayal (Sherman et al., 2012) of a Black man -dark skin = educated. ...
... This is a systematic effect, one that is unlikely to arise from demand characteristics. Fourth, the effect often arises too quickly to be caused by strategic processing (Allen et al., 2013;Cho et al., 2014). In Bhangal et al. (2015), participants reported on a substantive proportion of the trials (mean proportion = 0.71, SE = 0.03) that the subvocalization effect felt "immediate. ...
... The olfactory bulb (OB) is a key brain region, which is critically implicated in a range of cognitive functions [21][22][23], especially memory [24][25][26]. The OB is anatomically connected with other brain structures associated with memory processes; it is linked to the hippocampal formation through the entorhinal cortex [27] and reciprocally receives direct synapses from the ventral region of HPC [28]. ...