September 2005
Volume 5, Issue 8
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2005
Does inattentional blindness potentiate action?
Author Affiliations
  • Zissis Pappas
    New School University
  • Arien Mack
    New School University
Journal of Vision September 2005, Vol.5, 357. doi:
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      Zissis Pappas, Arien Mack; Does inattentional blindness potentiate action?. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):357. doi:

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

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Briefly presented masked images (subliminal) of graspable objects (tools, utensils, etc.) with their handles oriented left or right influence subsequent motor responses. Reaction time (RT) is significantly faster when the handle and response finger are congruent(Pappas & Mack, 2003). We questioned whether the same effect could be obtained under supraliminal conditions when these objects again are not seen but here due to an attenional blink (AB). Using a RSVP, subjects searched for a red colored target in a series of 8–10 images of common objects. On 75% of the trials, a graspable object (probe) appeared with its handle oriented left or right within 180–240 msec of the target. On the other trials no probe appeared. Immediately following the probe or the last item a blue or yellow dot appeared at the center of a gray screen. Subjects reported the color of the dot by pressing a left or right key with their left or right index finger as quickly as possible. Participants were later asked to report which target item was presented and whether they had detected the probe. On trials where none of the probe items were detected because of the AB, a congruency effect was found. RTs were faster when the unseen object's handle was oriented to the same side as the response finger. This finding demonstrates that unseen, because unattended, supraliminal stimuli that afford a motor response produce motor priming. This suggests some similarity in the processing of subliminal and supraliminal stimuli, neither of which is consciously perceived. These findings parallel those demonstrating that blindsight patients can orient towards unseen objects (Weiskrantz, Warrington & Sanders, 1974).

Pappas, Z. Mack, A. (2003, November). Poster Psychonomic Society.

WeiskrantzL.WarringtonE.K.SandersM.D.MarshallJ. (1974). Brain, 97, 709–728.

Pappas, Z. Mack, A. (2005). Does inattentional blindness potentiate action? [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 5(8):357, 357a,, doi:10.1167/5.8.357. [CrossRef]

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