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Mechanisms of priming by masked stimuli: Inferences from event-related potentials

Leuthold, H., and Kopp, B. (1998) Mechanisms of priming by masked stimuli: Inferences from event-related potentials. Psychological Science, 4 (9). pp. 263-269. ISSN 0956-7976 (doi:10.1111/1467-9280.00053)

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Abstract

A metacontrast procedure was combined with the recording of event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine the mechanisms underlying the priming effect exerted by masked visual stimuli (primes) on target processing. Participants performed spatially arranged choice responses to stimulus locations. The relationship between prime and target locations and the mapping between target and response locations were factorially manipulated. Although participants were unaware of prime location, choice responses were faster for congruent than incongruent conditions irrespective of the mapping. Visual ERP components and the onset of the lateralized readiness potential (LRP), as an index of specific motor activation, revealed that neither perceptual nor preselection processes contributed to the congruity effect. However, the LRP waveform indicated that primes activated responses that fit the S-R mapping. These results support the view that sensorimotor processing of masked stimuli is functionally distinct from their conscious perception.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s):Leuthold, Prof Hartmut
Authors: Leuthold, H., and Kopp, B.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Psychological Science
ISSN:0956-7976
ISSN (Online):1467-9280
Published Online:8 February 2002

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