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Shinho Cho, Sheng He; Unconscious processing of affordance information of tool images. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):685. doi: 10.1167/12.9.685.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
An object’s affordance is a critical property that our visual system is able to extract, for which the dorsal pathway presumably plays a key role. A recent study showed that viewing manipulable objects such as tools induces the neural activation of posterior parietal areas. Moreover, this neural activation is observed even when visual awareness of presented object image is suppressed by continuous flash suppression (Fang & He, 2005; Almeida et al., 2008; Almeida et al., 2010). However, it is not clear what specific visuomotor information in the tool images drives the activation in the dorsal area.
In the present behavioral study, we investigate the functional relevance of the information processing of tool images in the absence of awareness. Using a priming paradigm, observers distinguished the orientation of tools (appropriate for left vs right handed grip) for briefly presented tool images following the presentation of visually suppressed primes using continuous flash suppression technique. The invisible primes also consisted of tools in the left or right handed orientations, thus the prime and the target tool images could be congruent (Left-Left or Right-Right handed grip) or incongruent (Left-Right or Right-Left handed grip) in orientation.
Results show that observers responded faster in the congruent than in the incongruent conditions, and this effect is primarily observed in the right-handed responses. Thus even without overt recognition of presented tools, their action affordance could be registered and processed in the brain, likely in the dorsal pathway.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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