Attentional modulation of perceptual stabilization

Kanai, Ryota and Verstraten, Frans A J (2006) Attentional modulation of perceptual stabilization. Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, 273 (1591). pp. 1217-1222. ISSN 0962-8452

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Perceptual priming is generally regarded as a passive and automatic process, as it is obtained even without awareness of the prime. Recent studies have introduced a more active form of perceptual priming in which priming for a subsequent ambiguous stimulus is triggered by the subjective percept, that is, interpretation of a previous ambiguous stimulus. This phenomenon known as stabilization does not require a conscious effort to actively maintain one perceptual interpretation. In this study, we show that distraction of attention, during and even after the prime presentation, interferes with the build-up of perceptual memory for stabilization. This implies that despite the apparent automaticity, stabilization involves an active attentional process for encoding and retention. The disruption during the encoding can be attributed to the reduction in sensory signals for the prime. However, the disruption during the retention suggests that the implicit memory trace of the prime necessitates the attentional resource to fully develop. The active nature of the build-up of perceptual memory for stabilization is consistent with the idea that perceptual memory increases its strength gradually over a few seconds. These findings suggest that seemingly automatic and effortless cognitive processes can compete with online perceptual processing for common attentional resources.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Depositing User: Ryota Kanai
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2013 11:07
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2013 11:07
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