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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.
|Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:||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|
|Published Online:||08 February 2002|