In this study we provide evidence that unconscious priming can be obtained as a result of the processing of the salient region (SR) of illusory figures and without that of illusory contours (ICs). We used a metacontrast masking paradigm where illusory figures were masked by real figures. In Experiment 1 we found a clear priming effect when participants were asked to discriminate between square and diamond masks preceded by congruent or incongruent illusory square or diamond primes. It is likely that metacontrast impairs the processing of ICs but not of the SR; therefore the above result strongly suggests that the priming effect was specifically related to the processing of the SR. In Experiment 2 participants were tested in the same task as in Experiment 1 with additional primes in which the inducers were presented in the same locations but their shapes were changed so as to modify the global configuration. We termed these primes High, Low, and No Salient Region (HSR, LSR, and NSR, respectively). The HSR condition replicated Experiment 1, whereas in the LSR and NSR conditions the priming effect got progressively smaller. The results of Experiment 1 were replicated with the priming effect significantly larger in the HSR than in all other conditions. It was also larger in the HSR than in LSR condition and smallest but still present in the NSR condition. Taken together, these results indicate that the unconscious processing of only the SR yields a priming effect and that a reduction of the saliency of the SR leads to a reduction of the priming effect, while its elimination does not abolish it.

Unconscious priming by illusory figures: the role of the salient region.

POSCOLIERO, Tommaso;MARZI, Carlo Alberto;GIRELLI, Massimo
2013

Abstract

In this study we provide evidence that unconscious priming can be obtained as a result of the processing of the salient region (SR) of illusory figures and without that of illusory contours (ICs). We used a metacontrast masking paradigm where illusory figures were masked by real figures. In Experiment 1 we found a clear priming effect when participants were asked to discriminate between square and diamond masks preceded by congruent or incongruent illusory square or diamond primes. It is likely that metacontrast impairs the processing of ICs but not of the SR; therefore the above result strongly suggests that the priming effect was specifically related to the processing of the SR. In Experiment 2 participants were tested in the same task as in Experiment 1 with additional primes in which the inducers were presented in the same locations but their shapes were changed so as to modify the global configuration. We termed these primes High, Low, and No Salient Region (HSR, LSR, and NSR, respectively). The HSR condition replicated Experiment 1, whereas in the LSR and NSR conditions the priming effect got progressively smaller. The results of Experiment 1 were replicated with the priming effect significantly larger in the HSR than in all other conditions. It was also larger in the HSR than in LSR condition and smallest but still present in the NSR condition. Taken together, these results indicate that the unconscious processing of only the SR yields a priming effect and that a reduction of the saliency of the SR leads to a reduction of the priming effect, while its elimination does not abolish it.
Kanizsa's figure; unconscious vision; Metacontrast Masking
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/561753
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 2
  • Scopus 9
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 8
social impact