May 2008
Volume 8, Issue 6
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
A surprisingly stimulus-specific effect of self-awareness on perception of mirrored and un-mirrored self-faces
Author Affiliations
  • Eric Smith
    Northwestern University
  • Marcia Grabowecky
    Northwestern University
  • Satoru Suzuki
    Northwestern University
Journal of Vision May 2008, Vol.8, 781. doi:10.1167/8.6.781
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      ×
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Eric Smith, Marcia Grabowecky, Satoru Suzuki; A surprisingly stimulus-specific effect of self-awareness on perception of mirrored and un-mirrored self-faces. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):781. doi: 10.1167/8.6.781.

      Download citation file:


      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

      ×
  • Supplements
Abstract

Attention modulates perception of selected visual features, but can non-sensory mental factors such as states of self-awareness systematically influence visual perception? To reveal a visual effect of self-awareness, we considered the unique experiential associations of the perception of mirrored and un-mirrored self-faces with different states of self-awareness. When you look at yourself in a mirror examining your left-right reversed face, you are typically alone and your self-awareness is likely to be directed to immediate percepts including body sensations, potentially strengthening a neural association between the visual processing of a mirrored self-face and a state of internally-directed self-awareness. In contrast, when you look at your un-mirrored face in a photograph, you are likely to be with other people (to whom you show the photograph), and your self-awareness is more likely to be socially directed (thinking about how others think of you), potentially strengthening a neural association between the visual processing of an un-mirrored self-face and a state of socially-directed self-awareness. If visual processing gets selectively associated with concurrent states of self-awareness in this way, internally-directed self-awareness should selectively facilitate recognition of mirrored self-faces, whereas socially-directed self-awareness should selectively facilitate recognition of un-mirrored self-faces. To induce an internally-directed state of self-awareness, we instructed participants to focus on their breathing as a bodily sensation; to induce a socially-directed state of self-awareness, we instructed participants to think about their strengths and weaknesses, as people are typically concerned about how others perceive them in social situations. As predicted, internally-directed self-awareness enhanced recognition of mirrored self-faces (faster response time and stronger self perception), whereas socially-directed self-awareness enhanced recognition of un-mirrored self-faces. As mirrored and un-mirrored faces are highly similar, our results demonstrate that non-sensory mental states such as self-awareness can have a surprisingly stimulus-selective impact on visual perception.

Smith, E. Grabowecky, M. Suzuki, S. (2008). A surprisingly stimulus-specific effect of self-awareness on perception of mirrored and un-mirrored self-faces [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 8(6):781, 781a, http://journalofvision.org/8/6/781/, doi:10.1167/8.6.781. [CrossRef]
×
×

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.

×