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Risako Shirai, Hirokazu Ogawa; The effect of trypophobic images on conscious awareness during continuous flash suppression. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):148. doi: 10.1167/17.10.148.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Trypophobia is a fear of clustered objects like lotus seed heads. Trypophobic objects do not involve dangerous objects, but they are a source of discomfort. Recently, Cole and Wilkins (2013) demonstrated that such trypophobic images contained excess energy at a particular range of spatial frequencies and claimed the unique power spectrums caused discomfort. In the present study, we examined whether the trypophobic unique power spectrums affect accessing to conscious awareness by using breaking continuous flash suppression (b-CFS) paradigm. In the b-CFS paradigm, the dynamic masking pattern is presented to one eye, which can suppresses the awareness for a target image presented to other eye until the target image breaks the suppression. The target images consisted of trypophobic, fear-related, hole or neutral scenes. All target images were original in intact-image condition, while the target images were converted to phase scrambled images in phase-scrambled-image condition. In both condition, participants were instructed to press a left or right key to indicate where the target image appeared on the display. The results showed that the fear-related and hole images emerged into awareness faster than the neutral images in intact-image condition. Moreover, the trypophobic images emerged into awareness faster than neutral, fear-related and hole images. However, the phase-scrambled versions of the trypophobic images did not show any differences between the image types. These results showed that the trypophobic unique power spectrums did not affect the conscious awareness. Furthermore, we assessed what factors contributed to creating the benefit of trypophobic images on awareness using multiple regression analysis. The results showed that the benefit of trypophobic images on awareness was predicted by the benefit of hole and fear-related images on awareness. Taken together, the individual cognitive processes of trypophobic images might be explained by how much the processes of the simple geometric shape and emotion were facilitated.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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