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Glyn Humphreys, Jie Sui; Self mediation of perception. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):8. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/12.9.8.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We present novel evidence showing that new self-relevant visual associations can affect performance in simple shape recognition tasks. Participants associated labels for themselves, other people, or neutral terms with geometric shapes and then immediately judged if subsequent label-shape pairings were matched. Across five experiments there was a reliable self-prioritization benefit on response times and accuracy which remained across different presentation contexts (with self, best friend, and unfamiliar others in Experiment 1; with self, best friend, and neutral terms in Experiment 2; with self, mother, and neutral terms in Experiment 3). The self-prioritization effect on shape matching increased when stimuli were degraded (self shapes showing weaker effects of degradation), consistent with self information modulating perceptual processing; it led to enhanced target selection in hierarchical figures, and it was associated with a distinct pattern of neural activation. Control studies suggested that the results did not reflect the length or concreteness of the words. The results indicate that associating a stimulus to the self modulates its subsequent perceptual processing.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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