Perceptual Science Series

Masking and the "Visual Zombie": Modes and Levels of Unconscious Visual Processing

Bruno G. Breitmeyer

Friday, April 04, 2003, 02:00pm - 03:00pm

Department of Psychology, University of Houston


FRIDAY, April 4

Bruno G. Breitmeyer, Professor
Department of Psychology
University of Houston

 

Masking and the "Visual Zombie": Modes and Levels of Unconscious Visual Processing


Targets masked from conscious vision nevertheless may activate neural processes to which the  "visual zombie" has access.  Using a combination of meta- and paracontrast masking and response priming paradigms, we explore if the "visual zombie" has access to the following unconsciously processed object/stimulus attributes: location, form, and color. Results indicate 1) that the visual zombie has access to all three attributes, 2) that the unconscious location-information can be suppressed by paracontrast, 3) that unconscious form priming most likely occurs at, or later than, levels where conjunctions of the form-primitive, orientation, are processed, and 4) that unconscious color priming may occur at early, stimulus-dependent as compared to later, percept-dependent levels of processing.

Bruno G. Breitmeyer