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Distinction Between Nonconscious and Conscious Vision

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Distinction Between Nonconscious and Conscious Vision

Evidence from Hemispheric Asymmetry Effects



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Distinction Between Nonconscious and Conscious Vision by Jing Chen
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This dissertation, "Distinction Between Nonconscious and Conscious Vision: Evidence From Hemispheric Asymmetry Effects" by Jing, Chen, 陈静, was obtained from The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong) and is being sold pursuant to Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License. The content of this dissertation has not been altered in any way. We have altered the formatting in order to facilitate the ease of printing and reading of the dissertation. All rights not granted by the above license are retained by the author. Abstract: Here we examined hemispheric differences in conscious and nonconscious perception using a masked priming paradigm. In Experiment 1, participants judged the direction of a grey target arrow (either left- or right-pointing), which was preceded by a grey prime arrow in either the left visual field (LVF)/right hemisphere (RH) or the right visual field (RVF)/left hemisphere (LH). The prime was either masked or unmasked. Participants reported unaware of the prime in the masked condition. We found a significant congruency effect (i.e., a faster response when the prime and target directions were congruent than when they were incongruent) when the prime was presented in the LVF/RH but not the RVF/LH in the masked (subliminal) condition. In contrast, in the unmasked (supraliminal) condition, the RVF prime had a stronger congruency effect than the LVF prime. In Experiment 2, a backward mask was used in all trials and the prime duration was manipulated to create subliminal and supraliminal conditions. In the subliminal condition, LVF/RH primes but not RVF/LH primes generated a congruency effect, whereas in the supraliminal condition, RVF/LH primes had a bigger congruency effect than LVF/RH primes. These qualitatively different hemispheric asymmetry effects in Experiment 1 and 2 suggest that nonconscious and conscious perception may involve different underlying mechanisms. In Experiment 3, color stimuli instead of grayscale stimuli were used. Neither the congruency effect nor the LVF/RH advantage was found in the subliminal condition, while a similar RVF/LH advantage in the congruency effect was found in the supraliminal condition. This result suggests that parvocellular input does not support the subliminal priming effect in the LVF/RH. Taking together, our results revealed a dissociation between the mechanisms underlying nonconscious and conscious processing, and this dissociation may be due to the dominant role of the magnocellular pathway in nonconscious vision. DOI: 10.5353/th_b5317057 Subjects: ConsciousnessCerebral dominance
Release date NZ
January 27th, 2017
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Country of Publication
United States
colour illustrations
Open Dissertation Press
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