Non-conscious processing of motion coherence can boost conscious access

Kaunitz, L., Fracasso, A. , Lingnau, A. and Melcher, D. (2013) Non-conscious processing of motion coherence can boost conscious access. PLoS ONE, 8(4), e60787. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060787) (PMID:23593311) (PMCID:PMC3622026)

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Research on the scope and limits of non-conscious vision can advance our understanding of the functional and neural underpinnings of visual awareness. Here we investigated whether distributed local features can be bound, outside of awareness, into coherent patterns. We used continuous flash suppression (CFS) to create interocular suppression, and thus lack of awareness, for a moving dot stimulus that varied in terms of coherence with an overall pattern (radial flow). Our results demonstrate that for radial motion, coherence favors the detection of patterns of moving dots even under interocular suppression. Coherence caused dots to break through the masks more often: this indicates that the visual system was able to integrate low-level motion signals into a coherent pattern outside of visual awareness. In contrast, in an experiment using meaningful or scrambled biological motion we did not observe any increase in the sensitivity of detection for meaningful patterns. Overall, our results are in agreement with previous studies on face processing and with the hypothesis that certain features are spatiotemporally bound into coherent patterns even outside of attention or awareness.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Adult, awareness, continuous flash suppression, controlled study, eye movement, female, human, human experiment, male, movement perception, sensitivity analysis, visual feedback, visual masking, visual stimulation, visual system function, visual system parameters, visual threshold, analysis of variance, consciousness, female, humans, male, motion perception, pattern recognition, visual, photic stimulation, vision, ocular, young adult.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fracasso, Dr Alessio
Authors: Kaunitz, L., Fracasso, A., Lingnau, A., and Melcher, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 Kaunitz et al.
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 8(4): e60787
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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