August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
Amodal completion of unconsciously processed objects
Author Affiliations
  • Tatiana Aloi Emmanouil
    The City College and Graduate Center of the City University of New York
  • Tony Ro
    The City College and Graduate Center of the City University of New York
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 922. doi:
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      Tatiana Aloi Emmanouil, Tony Ro; Amodal completion of unconsciously processed objects. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):922.

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

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In the visual environment objects often appear behind occluding surfaces, yet they are automatically and effortlessly perceived as complete. Here we examined whether visual objects that are presented below the threshold of awareness are amodally completed when occluded. We used a priming paradigm in which participants responded to consciously perceived targets that masked preceding unconsciously presented primes. Discrimination responses to disk targets were faster when they were preceded by disk primes, regardless of whether the primes appeared complete or occluded by a horizontal bar. This priming effect was not produced by a partial match in features, since the occluded primes did not facilitate responses to another type of target (i.e., a pacman) with which they shared local features. These results show that unconscious visual objects can be amodally completed and corroborate the view that unconscious processing occurs at greater depths than previously considered.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012


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